MANNY PACQUIAO is busy these days.
The Pambansang Kamao or the Pacman, as he is popularly known in the Philippines, is headed for California this week to promote the documentary film “Manny,” which, you guessed it, is about his rise as a boxer.
He will also be one of the five judges of the Miss Universe beauty pageant that will be held in Florida on January 25. Reports also said he had an appearance on the The Today Show in the United States and a brief appearance at the Filipino American Press Club of New York’s holiday party with Consul General Mario De Leon Jr.
Manny Pacquiao is not just a boxer anymore, however. He also represents Sarangani province in the 16th Congress of the Republic of the Philippines.
Criticised by some for his absences in the sessions of the House of Representatives, Pacquiao said in an article posted on the website of ABS-CBN that he is not ashamed of it because he has many fighting commitments.
On his poor attendance at the House of Representatives, Pacquiao said: “Hindi naman ako mahihiya diyan. Yes, marami akong absent because marami akong commitments at sa fights. Two fights a year, at sa training pa lang.” “I don’t want to boast what I have done in my district, pero kung pakitaan nang accomplishment by the term sa distrito. Importante kasi ‘yung tao matulungan mo, at hindi ‘yung lagi kang naka-upo doon sa Kongreso,” he added.
The article also quoted Pacquiao as saying:
“Puro batas ‘yung pina-file mo, wala namang pinakinabangan ang batas. Pero kailangan, you file the bill, ‘yung trabaho kailangan tulungan mo ang mga tao. Tapos ang term mo, tapos wala kang ginagawa sa mga tao.”
He even urged his constituents not to vote for him in the next elections “‘Yun, mas happy ako kung hindi nila ako iboboto, ‘yung para hindi ako gagastos. Wala naman akong hinahangad na magnanakaw. Hindi ako katulad na magnanakaw. May takot ako sa Panginoon,” he also said.
But what exactly are the duties and powers of senators and congressmen?
This article on our MoneyPolitics website says that as one of the branches of the government, “Congress’s role, first and foremost, is to make laws. The Senate and the House of Representatives can craft a new law, amend existing ones, or repeal old ones. The House of Representatives website and Senate website both provide information on bills, resolutions, and Republic Acts or laws introduced and enacted from the 13th Congress to present.”
Click here for more information on the duties and powers of legislators in the Philippines.— PCIJ, January 2015