Senate commends Pacquiao for win vs Thurman

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2019   •   1848

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Tuesday adopted a resolution commending boxing legend Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao for his victory over Keith Thurman.

The adopted Senate Resolution No. 20 takes into consideration the resolutions filed by Senators Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr., Juan Miguel Zubiri, Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay and Richard Gordon.

Pacquiao clinched the World Boxing Association (WBA) World Welterweight title when he bested Thurman in their fight held in Las Vegas, Nevada last July 21.

The resolution said Pacquiao should be honored for bringing “immense pride and joy to Filipinos the world over with his accomplishments as a boxer.”

“Outside the area of boxing, Senator Pacquiao has excellently fulfilled his constitutional duties as a Senator of the Republic, faithfully performing his functions as an outstanding public servant,” it added.

In reply to the commendation, Pacquiao thanked his colleagues for their support.

He said his latest win showed he can still put up a good fight with someone who is 10 years his junior.

“The abilities and skills I have are given by God. I believe that ability, skill and responsibility has a purpose and that purpose is to inspire the Filipino people to rise above their limitations and overcome their circumstances,” Pacquiao said.

With this purpose in mind, the lawmaker said he will continue his boxing career.

“There are many who say that there won’t be another Manny Pacquiao. But I believe that we have many boxers who are just waiting for an opportunity, waiting for our help. It is high time for us to invest on our boxing talents who are loaded with potentials. The so-called diamond in the rough can just be around the corner,” he added.

He also called on his fellow senators to support the proposed creation of the Philippine Boxing and Combat Sports Commission, which he believes would pave the way for the Philippines to be known as the boxing and combat sports capital of Asia.

“I am ready to work with all of you in overcoming the challenges in the 18th Congress. Together as champions of the Filipino people, we shall emerge victorious and continue our fight for the country,” Pacquiao said.

Senate OKs Malasakit Center bill on final reading

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to institutionalize the establishment of Malasakit Centers in hospitals run by the Department of Health (DOH) across the country.

The Senate Bill No. 1076 or the Malasakit Center Act of 2019 was approved with 18 affirmative and zero negative votes.

The measure seeks the establishment of one-stop-shop centers for medical and financial assistance provided by the DOH, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in all 73 DOH-run hospitals nationwide.

“We are a step closer towards making quality health care more accessible and affordable for all Filipinos, especially the indigent and poor patients in need of medical assistance from the government,” Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, the author and sponsor of the bill, said in a speech after the bill was passed.

Citing a 2017 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Go said that out-of-pocket payment accounted for 55 percent of health expenditures despite benefits provided by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

“To clarify, we are not providing additional funds for assistance, we are merely establishing a one-stop-shop for medical and financial assistance,” he further stated, adding that there are currently 50 Malasakit Centers nationwide serving 160,000 patients.

Under the bill, hospitals run by local government units (LGUs) and other public hospitals may also establish their own Malasakit Centers provided that they guarantee the availability of funds for the operation of their centers including its maintenance, personnel, staff training, among others.

Patients who would be admitted to LGU and other public hospitals but are eligible for medical and financial assistance could also seek assistance from the Malasakit Centers.

Among the functions of the Malasakit Centers would be to provide patients with a referral to the health care provider networks as well as information on membership, coverage and benefits packages in the National Health Insurance Program.

The bill hurdled the Senate after it adopted amendments introduced by Senators Risa Hontiveros and Franklin Drilon.

Hontiveros said that Malasakit Centers should provide “critical information on healthy behaviors and conduct health promotion activities in the hospital” as well as “further enhance the health promotion function of the center.”

Drilon, meanwhile, said the measure should not limit the “access to or availability of medical and financial assistance only to indigent and financially incapacitated patients referred through Malasakit Centers.”

Inoue lets Donaire borrow Muhammad Ali trophy for his sons

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 8, 2019

Naoya Inoue (L) of Japan lets Filipino-American boxer Nonito Donaire (R) borrow the Muhammad Ali trophy for his sons after the latter bowed to the Japanese by unanimous decision on Thursday at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.  (Photo: World Boxing Super Series Instagram Account)

After winning the bantamweight championship of the World Boxing Super Series, Naoya Inoue lets Nonito Donaire borrow Muhammad Ali trophy in order to fulfill a promise to his sons.

In his Facebook post, Donaire said he promised his sons that he would take home the trophy if he wins his fight against Inoue for the bantamweight championship on Thursday (November 7) at Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

But Inoue won by unanimous decision and is set to take home the championship.

“I humbly asked Inoue to borrow it for a night, not for me but for my word. It’ll be a life lesson my boys will soon learn,” Donaire said in his post.

“It’ll pain them to see my face. They’ll kiss my wounds. They’ll see a trophy we don’t get to take home and understand what it means to want to train harder,” he added.—AAC

Senators, colleagues pay tribute to Nene Pimentel

Robie de Guzman   •   October 23, 2019

Senate President Vicente Tito Sotto III, presents Senate Resolution 17, expressing the Senate’s sympathy and condolences to Mrs. Bing Pimentel, wife of former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr., during the necrological service Wednesday. With them are Sen. Pia Cayetano, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senator Koko Pimentel, his wife Kathryna, and sister Gwen Pimentel.  (SENATE PRIB/CESAR TOMAMBO)

MANILA, Philippines – Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. was honored by friends and colleagues at the Senate during a necrological service held on Wednesday.

In separate eulogies, they remembered Pimentel as a humble and patient mentor, who took time to enlighten the Senate staff on various issues; a principled statesman, and a firm democratic fighter.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that with Pimentel’s life, he realized that one can enter and leave politics with integrity intact.

“Puwede naman palang pumasok sa politika at mamaalam nang marangal pa rin. Paalam po,” Sotto said in his eulogy after he presented Senate Resolution No. 17 to the Pimentel family, expressing the chamber’s sympathy and condolence on the death of the former lawmaker.

He also said that Pimentel served as his mentor and was always accommodating whenever his counsel was needed.

Sotto also attributed Pimentel’s “familiarity in servicing his colleagues in the Senate to the experience of working with a number of models and icons in public service where he was a top mentor.”

“His humility, simplicity in style and decorum make us all proud that we were his friends. He will be greatly missed. He had been a leading light of this Chamber, not only in good times but also during trials and darkest moments,” Sotto said.

“On behalf of the Philippine Senate, the Sotto family and the Filipino people, may I extend to the bereaved family of Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. our heartfelt condolences. May you be comforted that Nene is dearly loved by one and all in this nation,” he added.

Senator Pia Cayetano also considered Pimentel as a father figure and a mentor.

“Tito Nene did grand things, there is no doubt of that. But for me and those who knew him well, we remember him for the small things. For what is greatness without kindness? Without humility and compassion? Traits I saw in my mentor and seatmate. Beyond the brilliant legislator and defender of democracy that he was, I got to know a kind and gentle person,” Cayetano said in her eulogy.

Former Sen. Orlando Mercado also considered Pimentel as his mentor and remembered that he was the first to call for a total log ban. He said he learned the importance of humility from Pimentel and admired him for his sense of justice, especially for the disadvantaged.

Former Senator Jose Lina, Jr. said that more than his grief for losing a father, a teacher and a friend comes the realization that the country has lost “a great Filipino and statesman who championed freedom, human rights and the pursuit of excellence in local governance.”

Former Senator Rene Saguisag recalled his time with Pimentel when they both fought for democracy and a better government, while former Senator Heherson Alvarez said that Pimentel will remain in the country’s history as an indomitable comrade in the struggle against dictatorship.

“Nene Pimentel was a happy warrior. He lived long enough to nurture our civil liberties that he fought for and which he had been jailed. He will remain in our history as an indomitable comrade in the struggle against the dictatorship and a champion of good local governance,” Alvarez said.

Former Senator Nikki Coseteng said Pimentel embodied the values of a nationalist and a warrior, adding that she was proud to have known him.

Senator Koko Pimentel III, who was visibly moved by the stories about his father, thanked colleagues, friends, and the Filipino people for their outpouring love for the elder Pimentel.

“Thank you for helping him achieve his vision and goals as a legislator. Because of your support, he has left landmark legacies such as the Local Government Code and the Cooperative Code of the Philippines, among others,” Koko said in his response to the eulogies.

“Public service was his passion, working on landmark legacies fulfilled him and made him happy. Thank you for working with him to realize his dream of a fairer, democratic and productive Philippines,” he added.

Pimentel passed away on Oct. 20 after battling with lymphoma. He was 85 years old.

After the necrological service at the Senate, his remains will be brought to his hometown in Cagayan de Oro City for public viewing until Oct. 25.

Details of the interment will be announced later by the family. – RRD (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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