Pacquiao’s legitimate title war in an illegitimate body

“Boxing is the only sport you can get your brain shook, your money took and your name in the undertaker book.”

–Joe Frazier

By Alex P. Vidal17236830_10209213849128706_950870941_o

NEW YORK CITY — At 40, Manny Pacquiao is one of the only few world boxing champions in history to fight a younger opponent as a defending champion.
He is about to eclipse the record of Jimmy McLarnin, the Irish-Canadian world welterweight champion who sent the first Filipino world flyweight champion, Pancho Villa, to cemetery when he beat on points the Ilonggo boxer in San Francisco on July 4, 1925.
McLarnin was below 30 when he engaged the talented Barney Ross in an epic three-fight world welterweight series.
Those who fought for world titles in the past who were already considered as “over-the-hill” were mostly the challengers.
And most of these grandfather challengers were sent to retirement after their failure to regain their lost glory or win world crowns.
Sugar Ray Leonard, Hector Camacho, Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, Roberto Duran, to name only a few marquee names.
And, luckily, Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) will defend a legitimate 147-lb belt sanctioned by the World Boxing Association (WBA) against naughty 29-year-old former four-division champion Adrien Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) in Las Vegas on January 19, 2019.
In the age of alphabet world boxing bodies, only the WBA, World Boxing Council (WBC), and International Boxing Federation (IBF) are considered as the legitimate world boxing authorities.


Pacquiao mostly won his previous crowns in the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and one time in the dubious International Boxing Organization (IBO) when he flattened Ricky Hatton in two rounds to snatch the Briton’s super lightweight bauble at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on February 5, 2009.
For 10 years since grabbing Miguel Angel Cotto’s WBO welterweight title on November 14, 2009, the Filipino buzzsaw cemented his reputation as a world champion fighting under the WBO, which charged lesser sanction fees.
Team Pacquiao, which was then under the tutelage of astute lawyer Bob Arum and his Top Rank, avoided the “more expensive” WBC like a plague.
Interestingly, it was the WBC which gave the Filipino senator his first legitimate world crown: the WBC flyweight tiara he wrested from Chatchai Sasakul with a brutal knockout in Thailand on December 4, 1998.
Pacquiao earned millions of dollars to become one of the richest prizefighters in the world fighting the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Shane Mosley, Brandon, Rios, Timothy Bradley Jr., Jessie Vargas, and Chris Algieri under the WBO.
Jeff Horn outpointed Pacquiao in another violent WBO 12-round welterweight title fight in Brisbane on July 2, 2017, his lone fight in that year.


Pacquiao’s last WBC appearance was on May 2, 2015 when he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr on points in the most expensive bout in history.
Mayweather Jr. risked his three titles: WBA super welterweight, WBC welterweight, and WBO welterweight and earned more than $100 million.
But who cares if Pacquiao fights under shady sanctioning boxing bodies?
Fans pay to see him destroy opponents regardless of world boxing authority.
Every time Pacquiao fights, fans don’t question anymore whether it is a legitimate title bout or a duel sanctioned only by a banana peel or a piece of paper.
If he roll past the foul-mouthed black American challenger, Pacquiao will earn another special place in history: a welterweight champion at 40 who successfully keeps his title in the first defense.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 17, 2019 in Uncategorized


How about the murdered cops, Congressman Bataoil?

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Alex P. Vidal17236830_10209213849128706_950870941_o

NEW YORK CITY — Was it a populist rant?
Or a brotherly malasakit (deep concern) from a retired police official turned lawmaker tormented by the humiliation suffered by a “promdi” cop?
Pangasinan Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil earned pogi points from his former colleagues in the Philippine National Police (PNP) when he lambasted in the Philippines’ House of Representatives the Garin father and son, Guimbal Mayor Oscar “Oca” Sr. and Iloilo 1st District Rep. Oscar “Richard” Jr., in a privilege speech January 14.
The two top male members of the feared but fizzy Garin political dynasty in Iloilo have been slapped with criminal charges by Guimbal, Iloilo’s Police Officer 3 Federico Macaya Jr. for allegedly mauling the cop in Guimbal town in December 2018.
The incident scandalized the entire PNP hierarchy that it immediately moved to strip the Garins of their police escorts.
No less than President Duterte has called for the filing of necessary cases against the Garins.
The Garins surrendered their firearms in Iloilo through Vice Governor Christine Garin, Oca’s daughter and Richard’s sister.


The mauling incident instantly spread in the national media and the internet.
It became the talk of the town.
About three weeks after the incident, Bataoil, who once served as chief of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) regional operations and plans division of the Police Regional Office 6 in the early 2000, was in the rostrum unloading a Philippic:
“My heart bleeds for PO3 Macaya and many others who, like him, are all but nameless men and women in uniform quietly serving, and even dying, albeit some of them being subjected as well to assault, disrespect and abuse by persons in high elective office–the so-called mighty and powerful,“ he bewailed.
“I condemn in the strongest terms the fate that befell Police Officer 3 Federico Macaya Jr. of Guimbal police station when he was subjected to kicks, slaps and fist blows while the hapless policeman was handcuffed, unable to defend himself, and held at gunpoint.”
Bataoil fired the cylinders as a lawmaker to mollify the offended Guimbal cop and lift the spirit of the PNP.
He also wanted “to remind” the likes of Garins and other elected public officials “that we are not high and mighty.”
Good to the ears and excellent display of courage and grit for Bataoil, picking up the cudgels for an abused policeman.
PNP personnel invited to be present inside the House of Representatives applauded and gave Bataoil a standing ovation.
Before Macaya’s case acquired a colossal media attention, news about police personnel as victims of violence and even murder have already hogged prime time news headlines.


Since Macaya comes from Iloilo, we will cite only a few cases familiar with the Ilonggos: the murders of former Negros police chief, Supt. Santiago Rapiz in Dipolog City; SP01 Ronaldo Alag in Iloilo City, and Senior Insp. Porferio Gabuya Jr. in Negros.
Like Macaya’s case, the brutal killings of the aforementioned cops happened only in November and December 2018.
Rapiz was killed in an “encounter” with fellow cops in an anti-drug operation, while Alag and Gabuya were mowed down by bullets fired by the notorious riding-in-tandem assailants.
They were tagged as alleged coddlers of illegal drugs even before they were formally charged in the proper court and killed violently
They were murdered without due process and forever silenced and shamed without any chance to clear their names.
Because they were linked in ugly activities, they were portrayed unjustly and appallingly in the media and died like movie villains–unlike Macaya who easily earned public sympathy after being allegedly kicked, slapped, and spat at on the face while his hands were cuffed.
Did Bataoil’s heart not bleed when these police officers were assaulted worse than Macaya?

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 15, 2019 in Uncategorized


Ilonggos will survive despite WB’s bleak report

“Economy, prudence, and a simple life are the sure masters of need, and will often accomplish that which, their opposites, with a fortune at hand, will fail to do.”

–Clara Barton

By Alex P. Vidal17236830_10209213849128706_950870941_o

NEW YORK CITY — Ilonggos are known for their resilience, thus we expect Western Visayas to move upward this year from the fourth fastest growing regional economy in the Philippines in 2017 despite the projection made by the World Bank (WB) January 8 that global economic growth will soften from a downwardly revised three percent in 2018 to 2.9 percent in 2019 amid rising downside risks to the outlook.
Western Visayas was next to Cordillera Administrative Region, and Northern Mindanao nad Central Luzon after posting an economic growth of 8.4 percent in 2017, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
This was attributed mainly to the recovery of the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing (AHFF) sector, and better performance of the service sector, it was reported.
The agriculture sector rebounded from negative 1.8 percent in 2016 to positive 8.8 percent growth in 2017 while the service sector grew from 6.7 percent in 2016 to 8.2 percent in 2017 based on reports.
It was further reported that industry sector slowed down to 8.8 percent in 2017 from its previous recorded growth of 10.6 percent in 2016 while the service sector continued to account for the largest share of the region’s economy at 57.3 percent, followed by industry with 24.1 percent, and AHFF sector with 18.6 percent share.


As this developed, WB has reported the “darkening prospects” for growth among advanced countries in 2019.
In a statement, WB said international trade and manufacturing activity have softened, trade tensions remain elevated, and some large emerging markets have experienced substantial financial market pressures.
Growth among advanced economies is forecast to drop to two percent this year, the January 2019 Global Economic Prospects says.
Slowing external demand, rising borrowing costs, and persistent policy uncertainties are expected to weigh on the outlook for emerging market and developing economies.
Growth for this group is anticipated to hold steady at a weaker-than-expected 4.2 percent this year.
“At the beginning of 2018 the global economy was firing on all cylinders, but it lost speed during the year and the ride could get even bumpier in the year ahead”, said WB chief executive officer Kristalina Georgieva. “As economic and financial headwinds intensify for emerging and developing countries, the world’s progress in reducing extreme poverty could be jeopardized. To keep the momentum, countries need to invest in people, foster inclusive growth, and build resilient societies.”
The upswing in commodity exporters has stagnated, while activity in commodity importers is decelerating.
Per capita growth will be insufficient to narrow the income gap with advanced economies in about 35 percent of emerging market and developing economies in 2019, with the share increasing to 60 percent in countries affected by fragility, conflict, and violence.


A number of developments could act as a further brake on activity. A sharper tightening in borrowing costs could depress capital inflows and lead to slower growth in many emerging market and developing economies.
Past increases in public and private debt could heighten vulnerability to swings in financing conditions and market sentiment.
Intensifying trade tensions could result in weaker global growth and disrupt globally interconnected value chains.
“Robust economic growth is essential to reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity,” said World Bank Group vice president for equitable growth, finance and institutions, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu. “As the outlook for the global economy has darkened, strengthening contingency planning, facilitating trade, and improving access to finance will be crucial to navigate current uncertainties and invigorate growth.”
The informal sector accounts for about 70 percent of employment and 30 percent of GDP in emerging market and developing economies.
Since it is associated with lower productivity and tax revenues and greater poverty and inequality, this is symptomatic of opportunities lost.
Reducing tax and regulatory burdens, improving access to finance, offering better education and public services, and strengthening public revenue frameworks could level the playing field between formal and informal sectors.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 10, 2019 in Uncategorized


Don’t add insult to Iloilo Freedom Grandstand’s injury

“Never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river.”

–Cordell Hull

By Alex P. Vidal17236830_10209213849128706_950870941_o

NEW YORK CITY — I hope it is not true that Iloilo City Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III will rename the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand to “Dinagyang Grandstand,” which has been transferred to the Muelle Loney Street fronting the Iloilo River.
It will add insult to injury of those behind the construction of the original grandstand, built in the 1950s to commemorate Republic Act 1209 or the “Iloilo City Freedom Law” authored and sponsored by the late former senator and mayor Rodolfo “Roding” Ganzon.
The law restored to the residents of Iloilo City their constitutional right to elect their own mayor, vice mayor, and councilors.
In the first place, the decision last year to transfer the grandstand from the Sunburst Park in front of the Customs house or Aduana to its present location, was bitterly met by derision and opposition from Ilonggos who wanted to preserve local history and heritage; Ilonggo old timers and millennials who wanted to retain Iloilo City’s spirit, aesthetic and ingenuity.


But Mayor Espinosa III and other proponents insisted the transfer was “necessary” to pave the way for the revival and redevelopment of the slumbering Sunburst Park
Ergo, Espinosa III, et al won; the protesters lost.
Tuloy lang ligaya.
But, wait a minute.
The mayor is already thinking of changing the name of the P45-million project even before its completion?
We thought the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand “will only be PHYSICALLY transferred to a new location for purposes of development?”
Demolished, transferred, and now permanently erased from memories?
Reports said the project will be completed “before” the highlights of the 2019 Dinagyang Festival on January 25-27.
Mayor Espinosa III announced the decision to change its name on January 8 or two weeks earlier.
That’s pushing the cart ahead of the horse.


The mayor is also expected to issue an executive order to officially rename the grandstand before the Dinagyang Festival highlights.
When visitors and local folk occupy the new grandstand during the week-long religious and cultural festivities, the name Iloilo Freedom Grandstand, as well as all our glorious recollection and imagination about the iconic structure, are already a ghost?
Is the new grandstand to be used exclusively only for Dinagyang, or in honor, benefit, and spirit solely of Dinagyang Festival?
How about the other mammoth educational, medical, cultural, political, spiritual, business, and civic activities held prominently in the grandstand since time immemorial?
Iloilo Freedom Grandstand became a household name, famous from all over the world from people with great experiences and evocations of the structure, even before Dinagyang Festival was born.
We expect Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon, son of the illustrious the late former senator, and those who care for Iloilo City’s history and heritage to ask Mayor Espinosa III to reconsider his decision of permanently putting away all the memories and glories attached to the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand.
As an Ilonggo who was born and raised in Iloilo City, I mourn Mayor Joe III’s latest boondoggle.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 9, 2019 in Uncategorized


Election tip: ‘Flatter voters shamelessly’

“One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician’s objective. Election and power are.” 

–Cal Thomas

By Alex P. Vidal17236830_10209213849128706_950870941_o

NEW YORK CITY –– This article may interest some of those aspiring for public office in the coming May elections in the Philippines.
Before Marcus Cicero, Rome’s greatest orator, won as consul, the highest office in the Roman Republic, in an election in the summer of 64 B.C., the then 42-year-old son of a wealthy businessman from the small town of Arpinum received an advice from his younger brother, Quintus, on how to win the election.
The short pamphlet written by Quintus on electioneering in the form of a letter was called in Latin the Commentariolum Petitionis, which survived the centuries and was included in the book How To Win An Election written by Philip Freedman.
Like Machiavelli’s Prince, this short treatise provides timeless and no-nonsense counsel to those who aspire to power.
Idealism and naivete are left by the wayside as Quintus tells his brother–and all of us–how the down-and-dirty business of successful campaigning really workks.


The letter is full of priceless advice for modern candidates, but some of the choicest gems are:
1. Make sure you have the backing of your family and friends. Loyalty begins at home. If your spouse and children aren’t behind you, not only will you have a hard time winning but it will look bad to voters. And as Quintus warns Marcus, the most destructive rumors about a candidate begin among closest to him.
2. Surround yourself with the right people. Build a talented staff you can trust. You can’t be everywhere at once, so find those who will represent you as if they were trying to be elected themselves.
3. Call in all favors. It’s time to gently (or not so gently) remind everyone you have ever helped that that they owe you. If someone isn’t under obligation to you, let them know that their support now will put you in their debt in the future. And as an elected official, you will be well placed to help them in their time of need.
4. Build a wide base of support. For Marcus Cicero this meant appealing primarily to the traditional power brokers both in the Roman Senate and the wealthy business community–no easy task since groups were often at odds with each other. But Quintus urges his brother as an outsider in the political game to go further and win over the various special interest groups, local organizations, and rural populations ignored by other candidates. Young voters should be courted as well, along with anyone else who might be of use. As Quintus notes, even people no decent person would associate with in normal life should become the closest of friends during a campaign if they can help get you elected. Restricting yourself to a narrow base of support guarantees failure.
5. Promise everything to everybody. Except in the most extreme cases, candidates should say whatever the particular crowd of the day wants to hear. Tell traditionalists you have consistently supported conservative values. Tell progressives you have always been on their side. After the election you can explain to everyone that you would love to help them, but unfortunately circumstances beyond your control have intervened. Quintus assures his brother that voters will be much angrier if he refuses to promise them their hearts’ desire than he backs out later.
6. Communication skills are key. In ancient Rome the art of public speaking was studied diligently by all men who aspired to political careers. In spite of the new and varied forms of media today, a poor communicator is still unlikely to win an election.
7. Don’t leave town. In Marcus Cicero’s day this meant sticking close to Rome. For modern politicians it means being on the ground pressing the flesh wherever the key voters are at a particular moment. There is no such thing as a day off for a serious candidate. You can take a vacation after you win.
8. Know the weakness of your opponents–and exploit them. Just as Quintus takes a hard look at those running against his brother, all candidates should do an honest inventory of both the vulnerabilities and strengths of their rivals. Winning candidates do their best to distract voters from any positive aspects of their opponents possess by emphasizing the negatives. Rumors of corruption are prime fodder. Sex scandals are even better.
9. Flatter voters shamelessly. Marcus Cicero was always courteous, but he could be formal and distant. Quintus warns him that he needs to warm up to voters. Look them in the eye, pat them on the back, and tell them they matter. Make voters believe you genuinely care about them.
10. Give people hope. Even the most cynical voters want to believe in someone. Give the people a sense that you can make their world better and they will become your most devoted followers–at least until after the election, when you will inevitably let them down. But by then it won’t matter because you will have already won.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 8, 2019 in Uncategorized


Is Western Visayas now RP’s biggest cemetery?

“Never use a cannon to kill a fly.”


By Alex P. Vidal17236830_10209213849128706_950870941_o

NEW YORK CITY — The list of people murdered by the notorious riding-in-tandem killers in Western Visayas, particularly in Iloilo and Negros, and those massacred in “encounters” and police raids is getting thicker; and it appears that Western Visayas has now become the biggest cemetery in the Philippines.
The latest victims, Mercedes Nava, 66, and Erwin Fontillas, 45, mowed down in broad daylight by unidentified killers riding in motorcycle in Brgy. Calajunan, Mandurriao in Iloilo City in the Philippines on January 4, 2019, were another unarmed civilians.
The unprovoked double murder perpetrated in the first week of New Year could mean only one thing: a culture of impunity has now beclouded the “City of Love.”
The killing spree that included the massacres last year of seven suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Antique in August and the nine farmers in Sagay, Negros Occidental in October; the unsolved murders also last year of Small Town Lottery (STL) operator Samuel Aguilar in March, village chief Remia Gregori in June, and ex-cop Apple Alag in November and Bacolod lawyers and Rafael Atotubo and Ben Ramos, to name only a few, means nobody is safe anymore–not even lawyers, priests, cops, journalists, students, farmers, vendors, and drug addicts.


Every now and then there is violence and bloodshed; and dead bodies are piling up.
If the killings won’t stop, we will soon have to put all the cadavers together in one extended cemetery for all the victims of violence and atrocities.
The reputation of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) headed by Chief Supt. John Bulalacao is at stake here.
The people are pinning their hopes on the police authority for the progress and quick resolution of the aforementioned sensational crimes.
Ilonggos are anxiously waiting for the immediate arrest and the filing of necessary cases in court against the culprits.
As the people’s demand for justice accelerates, the authorities can’t afford to let those cases slumber or be buried in the police files and be subsequently forgotten and become part of statistics.


Some of these murders aren’t really difficult to crack.
The pieces of evidence and major leads in some of these cases are just waiting to be dug up and unsnarled by determined investigators.
There are many available sources and resources to tap and where to start untangling the ropes of puzzlement: social and mainstream media, community assets, history or background of the involved parties–their affiliations and activities.
If we believe some of the tipsters and sources, most of the hired killers haven’t really left the region and are just waiting for their next lucrative “assignment.”
The motives behind some of these murders can be obtained in the script of soap opera films–jealousy, vengeance, double cross, hatred, envy, avarice, rivalry, politics.
With its vast intelligence resources, there is no way the police can’t put all the dots in their proper holes and solve the puzzles one after another.
We have full trust and confidence on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to finish the job.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 7, 2019 in Uncategorized


A strong man’s weakness

“Try to look at your weakness and convert it into your strength. That’s success.”

–Zig Ziglar

By Alex P. Vidal17236830_10209213849128706_950870941_o

NEW YORK CITY — The hero in Greek mythology who fought in the Trojan War was invincible in the battle except for one little tiny spot, way down near his foot.
Achilles’ heel was the only vulnerable part of his body, and of course, that was the very spot that his enemies exploited to kill him.
Saints and Scoundrels of the Bible narrates that Samson was a hero in ancient Hebrew history, who learned too late that he had a Achilles’ heel.
Samson was set apart by God at birth.
His mother had been unable to conceive for many years.
One day an angel appeared to her and told her she would have a son who would be a Nazirite, which meant taking a vow that included no wine and no haircutting .
Samson would be one of a long line of handpicked deliverers known as judges who fought against Israel’s enemies.
Like Achilles, he would be tested in battle.
But he would have strength to match of another fabled hero, Hercules.


“Sadly, Samson was not strong in his convictions. Sure, he could tear apart a lion with his bare hands, but he always picked women who were wrong for him, and he attempted to play mind games with the Philistines–the enemies of Israel and the people he was charged to defeat,” Saints and Scoundrels of the Bible explains.
Having selected a Philistine wife, against the parents’ wishes, Samson decided to make sport of his wife’s townpeople with a riddle related to the lion he killed.
If they could guess the riddle, he would give them 30 new outfits, including 30 items made of linen–undoubtedly a wardrobe to die for.
If they couldn’t guess it, they would have to give the items to Samson.
When they couldn’t guess the riddle, the Philistines threatened to kill Samson’s wife and her family.
Obviously there were some sore losers in town. The woman begged Samson to tell her the riddle, which she then explained to her people.
Samson lost his temper and killed 30 Philistines to gain their clothing in payment.
He also gave away his wife, Samson’s experience with his Philistine wife foreshadowed a relationship that would lead to his doom—his relationship with Delilah.


The Philistine leaders approached Delilah with an offer she couldn’t refuse: find out what made Samson strong. A handsome reward would be hers. Delilah agreed.
So much for standing by your man.
When Samson finally gave away his secret, Delilah called in a man to give Samson his first and only haircut.
When Samson woke up, he didn’t realize that the spirit of the Lord had departed.
He was quickly taken into captivity by the Philistines. They decided to make an example of him by depriving him of his eyesight and forcing him to grind grain in the prison.
But God had mercy on his wayward deliverer.
One of the most promising verses in this said account is 16:22: “Before long, his hair began to grow back.”
Obviously firm believers in the “kick a man when he’s down” school of thought, the Philistines decided to have a laugh at Samson’s expense.
Samson was taken to the temple where all could see and mock the fallen hero.
But God had the last laugh.
After Samson requested that he be placed by the pillars of the temple, God brought the house down and a display of strength–the final act of Samson’s life.
This hero was no longer a zero.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 2, 2019 in Uncategorized