Pacquiao: Putting the 'twit' in Twitter?

The nominally honorable Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao, officially elected Representative of the sole district of Sarangani, was conspicuously absent from the House proceedings on the impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who has been charged with betrayal of public trust. (The House, as reported elsewhere on this site, eventually voted in favor of impeachment by an overwhelming majority.) The world-renowned boxer, however, was apparently monitoring the action on television, as he announced via his official Twitter account (@CongMP) that he was “watching the impeachment trial” and thought that it was a “very interesting topic”.

'Twitter _ Emmanuel D_ Pacquiao_ I'm watching impeachment t ___' - twitter_com_CongMP_status_49851426041626624

When he was asked by a couple of citizens to explain why he was not at the session, Pacquiao resorted to what might be magnanimously referred to as attempts at wit.

'Twitter _ Emmanuel D_ Pacquiao_ @RAndRat e di mag reklamo ___' - twitter_com_CongMP_status_49857233164574720
'Twitter _ Emmanuel D_ Pacquiao_ @momblogger e di mag rekla ___' - twitter_com_CongMP_status_49856708150968320

Pacquiao later took a stand on the impeachment issue, declaring, “I vote NO! and I can give my explanation thanks“.

'Twitter _ Emmanuel D_ Pacquiao_ I vote NO! and I can give ___' - twitter_com_CongMP_status_49864893465243648

In all likelihood surprised by the flood of criticism he received for his unbecoming online behavior, Pacquiao then bid Twitter good-bye, an act that, according to Cocoy, only befits a wuss. (The account is still active as of this writing, and the post pictured below has been removed.)

'Twitter _ Emmanuel D_ Pacquiao_ Sorry everyone but hanggan ___' - twitter_com_CongMP_status_49869490770558977

Precisely why he had refused to perform his sworn duty of representing his constituents and giving them a say on an issue of national importance is unclear—not to mention moot and academic. It may well be that he was training in Baguio, but Baguio is merely six to eight hours away from Metro Manila by land. What is certain is this: Pacquiao’s absence from the impeachment proceedings is utterly irresponsible, a fact that his inappropriately flippant—even scornful—tweets serve only to underscore, and which does not augur well for the rest of his political career. If the pugilist conceives of Twitter as an informal forum intended for casual banter, then, at the very least, he should consider restricting his updates to inconsequential banalities, instead of setting the stage for being remembered as a laughingstock of a solon.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao ought to be condemned not only by the people of Sarangani or civil society as a whole, but also by his colleagues, for surely his disdainful disregard of parliamentary procedure, to the point of voting via a micro-blogging service, besmirches the House of Representatives as well.

Jay Salazar

Jaime Oscar M. Salazar has been blogging intermittently since 2002. He lives and works in Metro Manila. His personal blog is Random Salt.

  • GabbyD ,

    i wonder if the people of sarrangani feels that way. surely they knew they were electing a boxer. surely, they’d know that he won’t resign.

    • GabbyD ,

      seriously, why is he a twit/wuss?

      just coz he wanted out of twitter? i fail 2 see the logic.

      • UP nn grad ,

        Many others did not attend / their votes were not counted. Were they training for a boxing match, too?

        And does Manny Pacquiao pay taxes on the millions of dollars he gets for his fights? I think he pays zero : covered by Pilipinas money-earned-overseas, no tax, isn’t that the law?

        • UP nn grad ,

          Jay raises a good point about Rep Pacquiao voting via micro-blogging.

          Representative Pacquaio’s twittered vote could not have been counted, was it?

          If “electronic” via phone-call or twitter is acceptable to Pilipinas governance, then Rep Singson should not have resigned, he could have continued to have his vote counted. And electronic voting would be one less argument against folks joining pugilist-Pacquiao. Senators and Congressmen watching a boxing match in Las Vegas could vote on an impeachment proceeding against Justice Corona or approval of a treaty with Sri Lanka.

          • Jay Salazar ,

            Pacquiao’s vote was not counted. He was recorded as absent from the proceedings.