Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mabilog admits mistake; Duterte visits Defensor

“Success produces confidence; confidence relaxes industry, and negligence ruins the reputation which accuracy had raised.” Ben Jonson

By Alex P. Vidal

MAYOR Geefre “Kalay” Alonsabe of Alimodian, Iloilo, a Liberal Party (LP) member, was the lone municipal mayor who joined Iloilo Governor Arthur “Art” Defensor Sr. when Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte, a PDP-Laban stalwart and rumored presidential aspirant, visited the Iloilo Provincial Capitol on Friday morning.
If the LP hierarchy is not jealous, it will not sanction Alonsabe, who seemed to be more excited and interested only on Duterte as a tough guy or a macho man, than as a potential rival of LP’s presumed standard bearer in 2016, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Mar Roxas.
Alonsabe’s personal admiration for Duterte does not mean he is willing to shift allegiance from LP to PDP-Laban.
Admiration is different from loyalty.
He admires Duterte but his loyalty is still probably with Roxas.
Currently scouring for more grassroots support, Duterte would love to be adopted by Alonsabe and other Iloilo mayors who are mostly LP allies.
Duterte did not have any idea, of course, that Alonsabe, an aggressive and popular public servant, is facing a graft case in the Ombudsman for the release of P3.241-million fertilizer funds in 2004 to a cooperative linked to former Iloilo second district congressman Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco Jr.
Duterte’s campaign in Western Visayas is expected to snowball with the help of his well-respected regional coordinator, Rotarian and lawyer Hansel Didulo.


If the mea culpa committed recently by Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog in the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the enforcement of the wheel clamping ordinance happened when the city mayor was Mansueto Malabor, the city council would have been up in arms.
Malabor could not commit an error without being bamboozled by opposition leader Councilor Perla Zulueta (now a consultant of Mabilog).
Under a vigilant and confrontational city council then, debates and conflicts were healthy signs that our government officials were doing their job.
With the executive and legislative branches engaging in a Punch and Judy show, media had a field day.
That’s how the check and balance worked if the two branches of government—executive and legislative—are independent of each other.
Thanks to the 12-0 win of the Liberal Party city council bets in the 2013 local elections, nobody will be willing to rap partymate and political benefactor Mabilog in the knuckles.


What happened was an honest mistake, according to Mabilog.
Because of the volumes of papers that the city mayor regularly signs on his table, he “mistakenly” inked his signature on the MOA with 3L company, which should have been forwarded first to the General Services Office (GSO).
As a matter of procedure, GSO would have to look first for 3L company’s competitors before any agreement was signed.
The signed document would then be sent to the city council for confirmation.
Because the cart was pushed ahead of the horse, Mabilog is asking the city council to cancel the agreement.
In the first place, if City Administrator Norlito Bautista and other officials in the city mayor’s office were doing their job, Mabilog would have been spared of this very fundamental error and the inconvenience of facing a backlash from critics.
It’s the task of the city administrator and the executive assistants to screen the papers, especially the MOAs, being stockpiled on the city mayor's table.
The staff’s fatal negligence can bring unnecessary delays on important transactions and embarrassment to the executive office. 
Heads must roll.


“What will happen to our country if Binay becomes the president?”
This was the straight and frank reply made by former North Cotabato Gov. Manny Pinol when retired Philippine News Agency (PNA) Iloilo chief Neonita “Mommy Nitz” Gobuyan asked him pointblank: “Ngaa nagabira bira ka gid kampanya kay Mayor Duterte? (Why are you working so hard campaigning for Mayor Duterte?)
Gobuyan, who recently told Vice President Jejomar Binay in a chance meeting in Iloilo that Binay would be the next president of the country, asked the question to Pinol when they met inside the office of Gov. Defensor on Friday.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rivals admit: Pacquiao is a ring monster

“I'm just a regular person who believes life is simple, and I like a simple life.” Manny Pacquiao

By Alex P. Vidal

IS Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) really an extra-ordinary human being?
Did God create him for a purpose?
No other prizefighter in the world has won eight world titles in eight different divisions. 
Only Pacquiao.
No other boxer outside the United States has commanded the respect and admiration of fans that would equal if not eclipse the respect and admiration they showed Muhammad Ali.
Only Pacquiao.
We have not heard of any fighter who did not complain about Manny Pacquiao’s speed and force after being annihilated in the ring.
In all the post-fight media conferences that we’ve attended as an accredited media representative in Pacquiao’s major fights in the United States, almost all of those who have been vanquished have one common lament: Pacquiao is a ring monster.
Marco Antonio Barrera: “Pacquiao’s too fast. And he hits like a thunderbolt.”
Erik Morales: “Pacquiao’s speed surprised me a lot. He is so powerful.”  
Joshua Clottey: “He is really fast and he packs extra-ordinary power in both fists. I was lucky to survive.”
David Diaz: “It’s difficult to hit Pacquiao because of his speed. He connects with a powerful impact. I thank him for giving me an opportunity to hit pay dirt (for fighting him).”
Oscar De La Hoya: “He was a better fighter. He was fast and he connected effectively.”


Ricky Hatton: “I didn’t see his punches. They were delivered with a dizzying speed. I was never hit like that before.”
Antonio Margarito: “I knew it was hard to hit him because of his speed. He also outboxed me and my (eye) injury was a result of how powerful were his punches.”
Shane Mosley: “His quickness is really amazing. He is quick in throwing combinations and quick in avoiding punches. His punches are strong and dangerous.”
Timothy Bradley: “I have never seen a fighter as fast as Pacquiao. His force is so intimidating.”
Juan Manuel Marquez: “Pacquiao is fast and strong but I am a better fighter. I am not afraid of him.”
Brandon Rios: “Pacquiao is so quick. He also hits like a rock and it’s too risky to engage him in a toe-to-toe rumble.”
Chris Algieri: “He is really fast and very strong. I have no complain whatsoever.”
Floyd Mayweather Jr: (Let’s wait and see)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ilonggos don’t want a repeat of Manila film center tragedy

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”
Karl Marx

By Alex P. Vidal

WE are worried that the incessant and continuous pressures applied on contractors to finish the P700-million Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meetings might result in another construction catastrophe.
God forbid.
The Manila film center tragedy is still fresh on our mind.
Because of pressures to finish the project before the international film festival hosted by Manila on January 18, 1981, construction of the $25-million building was expedited when delays hampered the project.
Delays have also been experienced in the ICC project with no less than APEC National Organizing Committee (NOC) head, Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., expressing concern during a visit in Iloilo City February 24.
“Until it is built, it is a concern. Once it is finish, the concern is gone,” Paynor announced shortly after being informed that the main venue of the meetings is still being constructed.
Iloilo City will host two APEC ministerial meetings in September and October.


We understand Paynor’s concern but we need to have faith in the capability of the contractors to beat the deadline without sacrificing quality.
In the ill-fated Manila film center, the project required 4,000 workers as the deadline drew nearer.
Under pressure, they worked in three shifts, around the clock.
Tragedy struck when the upper scaffold collapsed, sending workers falling into wet cement at 3’oclock in the morning on November 17.
Some of them were impaled on upright steel bars, according to witnesses whose testimonies were not included in the newspapers that carried the news.
Media was under control during Martial Law.
Then First Lady Imelda Marcos was immediately informed about the tragedy and was told the recovery of the bodies would take a lot of time.
As many as 169 bodies were allegedly covered with cement when Mrs. Marcos ordered the construction to continue as planned so as not to incur further delays.


Some of those who fell into the cement may have been buried alive, critics of the Marcos dictatorship claimed.
We asked Mrs. Marcos about this incident when she campaigned for president in 1992 and she called the story as a “blatant lie.”
She told us there was only a single casualty and that enemies of the Marcoses “bloated” the figure “out of malice and out of spite.”
We read the news in the Daily Express (we had a daily copy in the house) and the article did not mention the death of more than one worker.
Independent chronicler of historical events, Lisa Waller Rogers, claimed that “the full story has never been told, as news crews, rescuers, and ambulance teams were barred from the scene for nine full hours, while the government, under martial law, prepared its official version of events, censoring all news and silencing all witnesses.”


Mrs. Marcos, Rogers said, wanted Manila to rival Cannes as a world film capital. She described the project as “grandiose and expensive; the building on Manila Bay was designed to look like the Parthenon.”
Hilmarc’s Construction also bagged the second phase of the 3,700-seater convention only two weeks ago.
The Small and Medium Enterprise meeting is from Sept. 21 to 25 while the High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy is from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6.
Like the international film festival that the Manila film center hosted in 1981, Ilonggos are also excited to host part of the APEC meetings this year barring unforeseen construction and political circumstances.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What we remember is Bugoy’s smiling face

“Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.” 
Paramahansa Yogananda

By Alex P. Vidal

ILOILO lost one of its most brilliant and truly outstanding leaders with the demise of Vicente “Bugoy” Molejona last February 22.
The pride of Miag-ao, Iloilo had been struggling against small cell lung carcinoma with solitary brain metastasis for almost three years before his death.
In November 2013, I was privileged to be invited by Molejona to do the official confirmation in public through an article that he was stricken by a cancer “in order to end the guessing game.”
Molejona reached me through the social media and other means of communication available.
He wanted also to see his kumpare journalist, Limuel Celebria, and former student, Rhod Tecson of RMN Iloilo.
I arrived in his residence in Miag-ao, some 43 kilometers away from Iloilo City, in the dead of night.
His wife, Ma. Dulce, and eldest son, Jose Angelo, a Miag-ao municipal councilor, guided me to Molejona’s room where the retired Population Commission (Popcom) regional director embraced me amid tears.
The other details of my visit will be narrated in a separate article.
I am always proud to tell friends and relatives that I placed Molejona on top of my list of public servants who really deserved my admiration.
It’s impossible not to admire Molejona. 
He was a smiling face personified. He could afford to flash a smile even when he was not feeling well. 
He smiled a lot that even his detractors were ashamed to hate him.
People who worked with him and under him can spend hours talking about the greatness of the man.
In all his life as a public servant starting as a provincial board member in 1988, he was never implicated in graft and corruption. Then presidential candidate and now Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago was so impressed with his credentials and immaculate record that she picked him as the official vice gubernatorial bet of the People's Reform Party (PRP) in 1992.
I became enamored with Molejona, who also sat one time as OIC governor, when I covered the Iloilo capitol beat from 1989 to 1992.
He was honest, down-to-earth, and hard-working. He was very unassuming and approachable, a friend of the highest-ranking executives and the lowest-ranking utility personnel.
As administrator of the Iloilo Sports Complex and one of the sports executives, Molejona appointed me as editor-in-chief of Palaro Journal, official newsletter of the 1991 Palarong Pambansa hosted by Iloilo province.
According to Molejona, the late former Vice Governor Ramon Duremdes “was the true unsung hero of Iloilo sports.”
He wanted me write a separate story about Duremdes, one of the well-loved Iloilo leaders in this generation.
We can never forget Molejona. All we can remember always is his smiling face.


IN our society, the most powerful have become those who are carrying the tag of “lords” – the drug lords and the gambling lords.
If the “lord” is into drug trafficking and illegal gambling to boot, it’s not remote that he will also become a warlord.
Warlords have the guns, goons and gold.
They have the resources and capability of sowing terror and killing people.
Especially those who pose as obstacles in their illegal activities. Journalists and cops included.
But there is another way to “silence” the law enforcers and the media watchdogs.
Bribe them.
Once there is money involved, it’s easy to divide and rule—and conquer.
When a journalist attacks a fellow journalist that exposes the evil of illegal drugs and illegal gambling, it’s a telltale sign that someone has become a scoundrel and transformed into a mercenary.
It’s not only grossly unethical to hit a fellow media practitioner for doing his job, it’s also alarming and scandalous, to say the least.
When a policeman murders a fellow policeman who investigates and apprehends illegal gambling operators and drug traffickers, it’s a red flag that a uniformed officer has been transformed into a hooligan by the power of money and gold.
It’s a disaster for the campaign against lawlessness and evil.


The recent spate of killings involving crusading cops in Negros will bolster our hypothesis.
The most recent murder Senior Police Officer 2 Edcel Villanueva of the Calatrava police station was traced to his job as anti-drugs crusader.
Villanueva was shot around 7:50 p.m. on February 23 on Gustilo Street, Barangay 5, San Carlos City while on his way home.
The murder came a week after Senior Police Officer 4 Roger Cañete of Silay City police station, an anti-illegal drugs investigator, was gunned down on his way home to EB Magalona.
Last January 27, Police Officer 2 Jan Gallenero Jr. of the La Carlota police office was peppered with bullets.
In those murders, the suspected assailants were fellow policemen and their civilian cohorts, except in the case of Villanueva whose perpetrators were not yet identified as of press time.
No less than Negros Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer and Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. have expressed alarm over the successive killings of crusading cops.
It seems that some law enforcers have become not only lawbreakers, but also henchmen and mercenaries of drug lords and gambling lords.  

Mayweather: From ‘Pretty Boy’ to ‘Ugly Face’?

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.” Walt Whitman

By Alex P. Vidal

BEFORE sports pundits changed his nom de guerre to “Money”, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was known as “Pretty Boy.”
He was the only professional fighter in the world who became a world champion on October 3, 1998 without suffering from a cut or a scar on his face.
He could give Wesley Snipes a run for his money if Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) entered Showbiz in Hollywood instead of prizefighting.
He was good at avoiding heavy blows and his pristine face was never reduced to crimson.
Fight fans initially suspected he was a boring fighter who just loved to showboat and use the bicycle inside the ring.
Mayweather, who narrowly lost of Bulgarian Serafim Todorov in the featherweight semifinal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, grabbed his first world title on an 8thround TKO against Genaro Hernandez for the WBC super-featherweight crown in Las Vegas.
Before facing Hernandez, the names in the list of Mayweather’s victims were like passengers in an Amtrak trip to Chihuahua.
All patsies and taxi drivers disguised as rib crackers.


He was even paired against Jesus Chavez, a journeyman who only had a single win against 15 losses.
Mayweather tortured the southpaw Chavez en route to a 5th round TKO in Biloxi, Mississippi on July 12, 1997.
His real acid test was against Diego Corrales whom he blasted by TKO in 10 for the WBC super-featherweight diadem on January 20, 2001.
But it was Jose Luis Castillo who gave Mayweather some hellish moments in his career.
He outdueled Castillo via 12-round unanimous decision twice in as many encounters for the WBC lightweight title in 2002.
Another lefty, DeMarcus Corley, engaged him in an epic duel before winning by 12-round unanimous decision for the WBC light welterweight belt in Atlantic City, New Jersey on May 22, 2004.
Mayweather was still a “pretty boy” when he demolished world class fighters like Arturo Gatti, Sharmba Mitchell, Zab Judah, Carlos Manuel Baldomir, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, and Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto, Robert Guerrero, Saul Alvarez, and Marcos Maidana.


When negotiations to fight Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) started to come into fruition, Mayweather became a “Money” or “Moneyweather.”
All that was needed to convince him to face Pacquiao in a fight dubbed as the richest-ever in the history of fight business, was to offer him a gargantuan paycheck and a hefty share in the pay-per-view.
After the smoke was settled, Mayweather has been guaranteed to run away with an astronomical 60-40 share after bringing every negotiator in the edge of his seat in the $300-million transaction.
On May 2, heavy underdog Pacquiao will try to change the moniker of the most loquacious American ringster to ever grace the pay-per-view (to be telecast jointly by the HBO and Showtime) radar from “pretty boy” to “ugly face”.
Some experts think Pacquiao can be the first-ever fighter to rearrange the face of the unbeaten American boxer whether the duel will end by knockout or on points.
With eight weeks of preparations, oddsmakers might make dramatic changes in their fearless forecasts.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ilonggos in Malacanang if Binay becomes president

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” Brian Tracy

By Alex P. Vidal

ILOILO Governor Arthur “Art” Defensor Sr. is an “aksyon agad” leader.
Immediately after he read our article about the fuel pilferage issue allegedly committed by some dishonest employees and officials of the Iloilo Provincial Engineer’s Office (PEO), he directed provincial administrator Raul Banas to task PEO chief Gracianito Lucero to investigate the matter and face the media.
Lucero denied during a press conference on Friday our other allegations here earlier that some provincial engineers owned expensive vehicles and paraded those luxury cars in the capitol parking areas in violation of government policy on ostentatious display of wealth.   
"As far as I know there are no luxury vehicles owned by provincial engineers. If there is any I think they have the means to have that and they acquired those not through what is stated in the article,” Lucero said, quoted by The Daily Guardian reporter Louine Hope Conserva in her article.
Lucero added: “As government officials and employees we submit every year our SALNs. In fact within the week we received a letter from the Human Resource Management and Development Office (HRMDO) to submit our SALNs before April 30.”
In a follow up report, Conserva quoted Banas as saying that he would form a fact-finding team to look into reports of “pa-ihi” or fuel pilferage in the PEO.
Banas confirmed he heard the report as early as in 2011 but could not identify the culprits due to lack of evidence and probably lack of cooperation from involved parties and witnesses.
Even the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) requested by Banas to investigate the matter, failed to solve the malfeasance, admitted Banas.


If we base our assessment on what we regularly read in the newspapers and in the social media; what we saw and heard on TV and on broadcast media, we can now, more or less, have a bird’s eye view on who will possibly join Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay in Malacanang Palace from Iloilo if agitators of the Aquino Resign Movement (ARM) succeed; or if Binay wins the presidency in 2016.
Binay has been diligently wooing Iloilo leaders in these past 24 months, and we are seeing the same faces of local politicians tagging along and swapping laughter with the diminutive kingpin of Makati in his out-of-town sorties.  
They will always insist there’s no politics involved in those visits with municipal mayors, municipal councilors, village chiefs and smaller private organizations, but as the popular saying goes, “tell it to the marines!”
Retired Philippine News Agency (PNA) Iloilo chief Neonita “Mommy Nitz” Gobuyan recently told Binay straight in his face: “Sir, you will be the next president of the Philippines.”
“Of course, I could not tell him that if I were still in government,” Gobuyan sighed. “Now that I am retired, I am free to say anything without any fear.”
Gobuyan said she noticed “a groundswell of support” for Binay in the countryside.


“People are not anymore interested on the investigation of the alleged corruption in Makati under Binay. People are more interested now on the Mamasapano massacre of 44 troopers and they are angry,” she added. “I met Binay (in Iloilo). Ang naga drive sa iya si Nelson Golez (a popular DPWH contractor).”
The almost all pro-Franklin Drilon Iloilo city council will be decimated once the formidable members of the “Voltes 5” led by Councilors Joshua Alim and Plaridel Nava start to bolt out and go all-out for Binay.
Alim and Nava are two of the most active and visible Binay allies in the city. They joined Binay in his trip back to Manila last Friday.
Maasin Mayor Mariano Malones has openly hosted Binay in his recent Iloilo trip where the vice president visited five municipalities.
Depending on the result of tug-of-war between Iloilo fifth district Liberal Party loyalist Rep. Neil “Jun-jun” Tupas Jr. and younger brother, Vice Governor Raul Tupas, the latter might end up running for congressman in their district under Binay against Yvonne Angeli Lee Tupas, Junjun’s wife.


But for RAM Iloilo advocate Atty. Pascual “Junie” Espinosa Jr., “Binay is already a spent force.”
“He has reached his peak and will slide down (in the survey),” predicted Espinosa. “His popularity will have no match against the endless accusations of corruption in the senate hearing. Once people perceive you as a corrupt leader, you will go down in the long run.”
Espinosa and his RAM Iloilo cohorts demand for President Simeon Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s “immediate” resignation owing to the Mamasapano 44 fiasco, but are not inclined to support Binay as Aquino’s successor.
They want a shift to federal system of government as a solution to solve the country’s problems on the Moro secessionists.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

They blackmailed Manny Pacquiao

“Boxing is not about your feelings. It's about performance.” Manny Pacquiao

By Alex P. Vidal

IT appears Manny Pacquiao will climb the ring on May 2 fighting an opponent allowed to be armed with a revolver and a bolo in both fists.
The Moneyweather vs Pacman contract was a hijack and one of the most one-sided pacts involving the United States and the Philippines probably after the absurd 1955 Laurel-Langley Agreement and the Bell Trade Act.
There was no Filipino involved in the negotiation aside from Pacquiao himself.
All terms were dictated by the world’s number one blackmailer in sports: Floyd Moneyweather Jr.
Bob Arum (Top Rank boss), Stephen Espinoza (Showtime executive vice president and general manager), Ken Hershman (HBO president), Al Haymon (Arum’s bitter enemy and Moneyweather’s adviser), Richard Plepler (HBO chairman and CEO), Matt Blank (Showtime chairman and CEO) are all Americans.
Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s legal adviser and factotum, is a Canadian.
Koncz, the most loyal non-Filipino member of Pacquiao’s boxing household, can’t beat the Americans in the negotiation table, thus he joined ‘em.
All the dotted lines in the rich contract were acrimoniously sanitized and controlled by a one-man army, boxing’s most expensive spoiled brat.
Where was Juan de la Cruz in the deal?
Not even a witness?
As an elected lawmaker in the Philippines, Pacquiao brings with him the sovereignty of the state wherever he goes.
Who protected his interest in the deal?  
It’s all a Moneyweather show.


A Hollywood movie starring a brown bomber from a conflict-ridden backdoor Philippines directed and produced by capitalist America with an all-American cast.
In a desperate bid to ink the elusive but richest deal in fight history, negotiators allowed Moneyweather to dictate almost everything, including perhaps the brand of Pacquiao’s underwear during the fight.
The Filipino congressman will be subjected to a rigorous Olympic-type doping examination, a random test that would compel Pacquiao to submit a blood sample even during the day of the duel.
We know it’s too much to bear for Pacquiao, but the gentleman from Mindanao had no choice but to tame the brash-talking and arrogant boxing dictator or the fight wouldn’t happen.
What about Moneyweather? Does the contract stipulate that he also undergo the same procedure? 
What's good for the goose that isn't good for the gander?
The purse split shows the cruelty and disparity of the one-sided contract.
But Pacquiao had to cave in to a ridiculous 60-40 share or the much-ballyhooed mega fight would end up in the pigsty.
Even the announcement of the fight--who will do it, the style, the time, the method--became a titanic issue. (Moneyweather delayed it as he was infuriated when Top Rank had supposedly leaked some details ahead.)


Cleto Reyes Castro’s ghost would haunt the negotiators if they allowed Moneyweather to include in the contract a clause that would deny Paquiao the right to wear his favorite Cleto Reyes while the unbeaten American can freely choose his pet Grant Gloves.
In order to secure Moneyweather’s signature, negotiators were willing to hand over to the convicted wife beater even the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Since 2009, there was no effort for Moneyweather to make the fight with Pacquiao possible. In fact, it was the Team Pacquiao that walked extra miles to secure Moneyweather’s imprimatur.
Moneyweather manifested a grand dishonesty when he posted the following in the social media the day he announced the duel:
“What the world has been waiting for has arrived. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao on May 2, 2015, is a done deal. I promised the fans we would get this done, and we did. We will make history on May 2nd. Don’t miss it. This is the signed contract from both fighters.”
Take note of the line "I promised the fans..." 
What Moneyweather wanted, Moneywheather had it in the bag.
We hope they didn’t allow him to choose the judges and the referee.
With his rock star status, vanity and influence, Moneyweather can even ask Angelina Jolie to act as the round girl and Clint Eastwood as the third man in the ring, no pun intended.
It would be a total sell-out.

Friday, February 20, 2015

It’s finally official! Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao to fight on May 2 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas

Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News reported that the much-awaited duel between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will finally take place.
"It's better late than never," stressed Abramson.
Abramson wrote that after an avalanche of false reports, flawed updates and overall bedlam and hysteria for a match that probably should have happened five years ago and has paralyzed the sport, the fight everyone still wants to see between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao has finally arrived.
"The undefeated Mayweather Jr. and hyper-aggressive Pacquiao, both welterweight champions and both in their late 30s, will finally meet May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in a match-up of two of the greatest fighters of their generation.
"The bout was finally announced on Friday by Mayweather on his Shots social media selfie app, which he has invested a cool million in."
More than 30 minutes after Mayweather, who turns 38 on Tuesday, directed his over five million followers on Twitter to go download the Shots app, he displayed a photo of what appeared to be a signed contract by both fighters with the caption:
“What the world has been waiting for…is a done deal.”
Mayweather (47-0, 26 knockouts) later released a statement boasting of what he intends to do to Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 knockouts) on fight night.


"This will be the biggest event in the history of the sport," he said. "Boxing fans and sports fans around the world will witness greatness on May 2. I am the best ever and this fight will be another opportunity to showcase my skills and do what I do best, which is win. Manny is going to try to do what 47 before him failed to do, but he won't be successful. He will be number 48."
Not to be outdone, Pacquiao trainer and famed trash talker Freddie Roach released a boast of his own.
Manny Pacquiao brings his 57 career victories into the ring vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. when the two finally meet in Las Vegas in May.
“Floyd should enjoy being the A-side while he can because on May 2 Manny is going to put him on his backside,” Roach said in a statement.
"I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years,” Pacquiao said in another released statement. “They have waited long enough and they deserve it."
The fight will be televised jointly by HBO (which has Pacquiao) and Showtime (paper on Mayweather) on pay-per-view with announcers splitting duties at a reported price tag to the consumer of $89.95.


It’s the first time since 2002 when Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis tangled that the two networks are working hand-in-hand.
The bout is expected to smash every previous box office record associated with boxing, such as the all-time PPV buy record of 2.4 million (for Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya); the PPV revenue record of $150 million for Mayweather and Saul (Canelo) Alvarez and the all-time gate record of $20 million for Mayweather and Alvarez. The bout is expected to gross more than a quarter of a billion dollars.
Pacquiao agreed to the smaller take of a 60-40 split.
The super fight is reportedly a one-bout deal with no rematch clause built into the contracts.
Because of bad blood between Mayweather and Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum, Les Moonves, the president and CEO of CBS, worked as an intermediary between the two sides, helping negotiate the bout on behalf of Arum.
The fight was supposed to be announced on Thursday, but Mayweather was frustrated that Top Rank was stealing his thunder and giving hints of the reached agreement and Mayweather wanted that right, according to
As part of the contract for the fight, Mayweather had the right to make the final announcement.
If the actual fight matches the tense, dramatic negotiations that led to an agreement, it will go down as one of the greatest fights of all time.
Both Mayweather and Pacquiao showed up at a Miami Heat basketball game on Jan. 27 and exchanged numbers, causing even more speculation on the nearness of the bout.


The two even met at a Miami hotel room later that night, stoking even more rumors and gossip.
Then, just days before the Super Bowl, Arum said a deal could be reached on the day of the big game on Feb. 1.
When a deal wasn’t reached, stories began to emerge blaming Arum for causing the talks to stall.
Along the way, more stories surfaced promising the bout had been finalized. Oftentimes the bearer of bad news was Showtime boxing head Stephen Espinoza, tweeting that an agreement had not yet been reached.
On Sunday, Mayweather told a reporter at the NBA All-Star Game at the Garden that rumors both contracts had been signed were pure “speculation.” But he added, “Hopefully we can make the fight happen.”
Meanwhile, talks progressed with a source telling the Daily News over the weekend that both sides were very close and an announcement would be made this week.
On Thursday afternoon, Mayweather was spotted walking through the city with a coterie of lawyers and bodyguards near Grand Central Terminal, not far from the HBO and Showtime offices.
The two nearly signed a deal in 2009 for a fight in 2010 after Mayweather un-retired to win a decision against Juan Manuel Marquez and Pacquiao knocked out Miguel Cotto.
Both sides had agreed to a 50-50 revenue split. However, the issue of drug testing scuttled those talks.
Ever since, there have been fleeting discussions to make the fight happen but nothing has stuck. Until now.

'Floyd Mayweather Jr. Manny Pacquiao Fight ... Signed, Sealed, Delivered'

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is making it official what we already knew was coming for weeks -- TMZ Sports has learned his fight with Manny Pacquiao is set, the deal is signed -- and they'll be getting it on in Vegas on May 2nd. 
As we previously reported, the two fighters reached an agreement to get in the ring back in January -- and the major issues, including date and location have been set for weeks. 
The fight is expected to be the richest contest in boxing history --  with both pugilists projected to take in well over 100 million dollars.
Good work if you can get it folks ...

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Let Nava and Gerochi fight; it’s part of democracy

“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.” Margaret Heffernan

By Alex P. Vidal

AS long as it is job-related, we have no problem watching flyweight contenders Plaridel Nava and R Leone Gerochi squaring off and transforming the session hall of the Iloilo Sangguniang Panlungsod into a boxing arena.
It’s a big relief though that both city councilors canceled the bout when proverbial coolers heads intervened.
Nava has clarified that his “one-on-one” dare to Gerochi was for a debate and not for a physical engagement.  
Even if it was for a physical duel, for sure Nava and Gerochi, both lawyers, did not mean to swap blows because of personal enmity.
They disputed Gerochi’s request for a copy of Nava’s committee report on the recent 1st Muti-sectoral Transportation Summit.
Nava resented Gerochi's actuation as they both belong in a bloc called "Voltes 5" which supposedly had a tacit agreement not to badger a member who is making a speech.  
The bone of contention was still related to public service.
The paramount concern of our elected officials is public service.
Therefore, the would-be non-title setto was for exhibition only, an offshoot of a boiling blood and hot temper.
Wala personalan. Obra lang. (No personal feud. It’s all work-related.)
Quarreling or engaging in fisticuffs is not an earth-shaking scenario among members of the legislative body.


In fact, it’s a healthy sign in a democratic institution.
As long as it is not violent and not intended to terrorize people, rational argument should be a perfect venue to ventilate disagreement and grievances.
Even before the age of Youtube, social media and “selfie” technology, we have seen so many violent fracases “live” on TV involving senior state legislators in Taiwan, Turkey, Italy, Japan, Yugoslavia, Greece and other highly industrialized countries.
Fistfights among legislators in these countries would even last for three to five minutes and the melee even involved party mates who joined the fray from the balcony.
In democracy, every individual has the right to agree and disagree and translate the debate into a “one-on-one” brawl if necessary but not mandatory.
Sessions can sometimes be emotional and as tempers flare up, a free-for-all rumble becomes inevitable among the hot heads.
After the negative emotions have been emptied and energies zapped, the protagonists are soon back to normal lives; they shake hands, “bury the hatchet, and let bygones be bygones.”


In a fascist or communist state, there is nothing to dispute because there are no legislatures in the first place.
It’s a one-man rule.
In a fascist regime like that of Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Italy’s Benito Mussolini, there are no committee reports for the legislators as the latter don’t exist.
In communist rules, Russia’s Josef Stalin and Cuba’s Fidel Castro called the shots and shot the opposition dead. Democracy is dead, too.
Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Castro were the heads of their governments as dictators.
No national assembly.
No debate. No freedom to express. No free speech.
No democratic check and balance.


WE smell politics in the decision of Dumangas municipal councilors Jasmin Ocampo, Rene Dela Peña, Almar Marfito, Bert Celeste and Ronaldo Golez not to approve the resolution endorsing the issuance of a development permit to the National Housing Authority’s (NHA) resettlement project here for residents displaced by super typhoon “Yolanda” or Haiyan during their regular session on February 18.
The five are known political enemies of Mayor Rolando “Rolly” Distura, thus some people suspect politics was behind their lackadaisical attitude.
Distura said the NHA will be building over 7,000 housing units totaling around P2.1 billion.
But Golez, who lost to Distura for mayor in the recent local elections, insisted “they wanted more time to scrutinize” the housing project.
While they were dilly-dallying the resolution, some 1,000 irate housing project beneficiaries were getting restless outside the municipal hall.
The beneficiaries, mostly residents of identified danger zones in Dumangas areas frequently flooded such as river banks and low-laying areas, didn’t care about the political bickering among municipal officials.
They wanted a decent housing and safe environment. That’s all.
They didn’t want to be caught in the middle of the conflict between Distura and the opposition municipal councilors.
We hope warring Dumangas officials will set aside their animosity first for the good of the people.