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Of Political Has-Beens And True Champions

December 10, 2008


Environment secretary Lito Atienza is bristling at the way he was castigated during his department’s budget defense because of his trip to Las Vegas to cheer on his friend Manny Paquiao.

Atienza went as far as saying that those who took him to task, led by outspoken lady Senator Jamby Madrigal, “have weak family values and do not understand the need to support” the national treasure that Pacquiao is.

I’d like to take Atienza at his word, but his rationalizations aside, he got what he deserved.

Atienza’s real agenda slipped out when he told DZMM’s Neil Ocampo that his appearance on HBO held “immense value.”

So there. The former mayor of Manila, like the other politicians who paraded their mugs before the global audience, were riding on Paquiao to get their own political exposure.

In sharp contrast, Pacquiao has simply been selfless: thanking the good Lord for blessing his efforts and sharing his success with all Filipinos.

Arriving as dawn was breaking, Manny Pacquiao hinted that politics may have to wait awhile as he weighs his next options atop the square ring.

“Boxing is what I’m good at and this is where I’ll focus my energies on for now,” Manny said, adding that when he does hang up his gloves, “I’d like to retire as a champion.”

Well spoken, Manny.

And while you’re at it, don’t let political has-beens capitalize on your reflected glory to win a slot in the administration’s senatorial slate for 2010.

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