Church, VP camp defend Pacquiao


The Philippine Catholic Church and Vice President Jejomar Binay’s camp on Sunday defended boxing hero and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao for his opposition to gay marriage, saying he was only quoting the Bible.

But Fr. Jerome Secillano said over radio station dzMM that Pacquiao should respect homosexuals and not judge and condemn them after the eight-division world champion last week described them as worse than animals.

Binay’s camp also on Sunday said they will stand by the boxer-turned- lawmaker amid criticism he is facing after he compared members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to beasts.

The boxing icon is running for a Senate seat in this year’s may elections under the Binay-led opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

Pacquiao, 37, who converted from Catholicism to an evangelical Protestant faith late in his boxing career, was pilloried by local gay rights groups and celebrities and has lost lucrative commercial endorsements as a result.

Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Public Affairs Office, said: “This is really in the Bible. There is this quote he [Pacquiao] uses from the Bible and we cannot change that.”

He added that it was “unfair” to condemn Pacquiao for echoing what he reads in the Bible when he was asked about same-sex marriage.

But Secillano said the boxing hero should not have used such offensive language.

“The Church . . . says that if this is your lifestyle, if this is your orientation, then we respect that, we cannot condemn them,” the priest added.

He reiterated that the Catholic Church, which counts 80 percent of Filipinos as followers, still opposes legalization of same-sex marriage.

The Church’s influence has also kept divorce and abortion from being legalized in the Philippines.

Homosexuality, however, is not criminalized and several LGBT figures have become celebrities.

Pacquiao, who intends to retire after his April fight against American Timothy Bradley to pursue a career in politics, issued an apology on social media on Tuesday but later said his apology was qualified.

Nike, Pacquiao’s major global sponsor, canceled its endorsement deal with him in the past week, describing his comments as “abhorrent.”

Pacquiao, a former street kid with little education, has used his fame and fortune to launch a political career.

Already a two-term congressman, he is campaigning to win a Senate seat in the May 2016 elections.

Surveys published before the controversy had indicated he will win.
Pacquiao has said his ultimate ambition is to be President of the Philippines.

In siding with the boxer, the Binay camp said, “People belonging to one party should help each other, you carry each other.”

“For example, for some, what Manny said was wrong. But he believes in equal rights. UNA also believes in equal rights. I think what Manny needs more is help,” UNA spokesman Mon Ilagan said.

Ilagan added that other people’s views must be respected and urged that the issue be rested.


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  1. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    22 Feb. 2016

    Binay’s camp has not only not condemned Manny Pacquiao for what has been described as his “abhorrent” remarks, but justified them in a clever fashion. This only goes to show how smart a politician Jejomar Binay is: he knows Pacquiao is the “idol” of the Filipino people, and that as far as his idolaters are concerned, he can never make a mistake. And they also happen to be voters, many of them in the boondocks where the “critical mass” of voters are. It is almost a certainty that Pacquiao will win a Senate seat come May 9, and with Binay at his side, Binay will, of course, benefit politically.

    Incidentally, Pacquiao has made it clear that he intends to be a candidate for President. After he serves in the Senate, and once he qualifies by age, you can be sure that he will keep his word and be a candidate for President. He knows that he is going to win, with the backing of the RCC and the Protestant Churches.

    On the campaign hustings for President, you can count on Pacquiao routinely holding a Bible and quoting profusely from it. Filipinos who are mostly Christians will just love him for doing so! They know that their “God” of the bible will be on his side, and he will be an honest, incorruptible and effective President, in contrast to his predecessors who were all miserable failures.


  2. I still believe that every human being has the right to choose between good and evil. There are many documents that define what is GOOD and what is EVIL, namely the bible, the constitution, the enacted laws, etc. Most often these documents has one fundamental definition but caught somewhat entangled on some issues. Some US states and European countries had enacted laws favoring same sex marriage, whereby the enactment is because of the emerging culture and not because of natural law. Somewhat natural law is being challenged by cultural preference and that is the reason different personal views are prevelent. Maybe one day a more challenging culture that will debilitate LGBT emergence like ALL PREFERENCE SEX. APS vs LGBT…anyway life goes on.

  3. jose b. taganahan on

    Those who engage in same sex sexual relationship is really worse than animals but gays and lesbians per se should not be condemned on their sexual acts with the same sex, only GOD can.

  4. Pacquiao stated what the majority said again and again, but were not heard every single time. Those who heard, ignored the veracity of the statement and nursed the ridicule and disdain for the object of Paquiao’s outburst. Pretending to be tolerant and accepting is the acepted norm of behaviour. It is easy for anyone to act this way, it takes too much energy to focus on this issue. Let us have choices, or is there any thing more we should or can do?

  5. Pacquiao quoting the bible about the homosexuals. He should also add this commandment from God according to the bible:

    Deuteronomy 13:6-9
    6 “If your brother, your mother’s son, or your son or daughter, or the wife [a]you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’ (whom neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 of the gods of the peoples who are around you, near you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end), 8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him; and your eye shall not pity him, nor shall you spare or conceal him. 9 But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.