INTERNATIONAL boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao is reportedly going bankrupt after he placed much of his winnings in “dead” investments and for being too “generous” to friends who usually accompany him in his nightly capers.
An insider in the pound-for-pound king’s camp claimed that Manila-based bankers met in General Santos City to discuss Pacquiao’s financial problems. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some of the checks issued by the Pacquiao couple had “bounced.”
Worse, the boxing champ who has been known for his gambling habits and for treating close friends out to nightly leisure, has reportedly acquired huge debts.
The source said Pacquiao’s decision to pour in capital in various business establishments in Manila and General Santos City turned out to be unprofitable.
Pacquiao and his wife, Jinkee, the source added, could hardly even sustain the salaries of their employees as their bank accounts started to dry up.
Some employees of the couple told The Manila Times that payment of their salaries would be delayed by two months. They said that others have decided to leave even if they have not collected their wages.
It was learned that Pacquiao applied for a loan for the construction of a hotel in General Santos City but the plan did not materialize.
The group of Manila bankers disclosed that even if Pacquiao would have 10 more fights, his earnings would not be sufficient to cover his loans, including those that he got from his promoter Bob Arum and close friend and gambling partner, Luis “Chavit” Singson.
“Kahit pa man magkaroon ng sampung laban si Manny ay hindi ito sapat na mabayaran ang kanyang mga malalaking utang na nakabinbin sa promoter niyang si Bob Arum at kay Chavit Singson at lahat ng kanyang naipundar na negosyo ay hindi kumikita,” said the source.
Meanwhile, former Sarangani governor Rene “Migs” Dominguez said in a radio interview that since Pacquiao became a lawmaker, his province has never benefited from the latter’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocation, more notoriously known as “pork barrel.”
“The province has not benefited the PDAF of Congressman Pacquiao since he assumed office,” Dominguez said.
The seven component municipalities of Sarangani province have been expecting that Pacquiao would use his PDAF allocation to put up farm-to-market roads, build a hospital in the capital town of Alabel, repair the dilapidated road network from Glan town going to Malapatan, and establish a water catch basin to prevent flashfloods. However, none of these projects realized.
Pacquiao, according to some of his constituents in the municipalities of Kiamba, Maasim and Maitum, has become difficult to find lately while members of the group of Akbayan has expressed disappointment over Pacquiao’s failure to make true his promise to stop the planned operation of a coal-fired power plant in Maasim.
When Pacquiao assumed office, Cecil Diokno, the spokesman of the Freedom From Debt Coalition (FDC), revealed that the lawmaker vowed to stop the establishment of the coal plant.
Likewise, a certain “Loida” and some people in Maasim lamented that Pacquiao broke his promise to give them livelihood assistance.
Even an indigenous tribe in the province is not happy with Pacquiao’s “scarcity.”
Tribal leaders have been complaining about the champion’s broken promise to build farm-to-market roads in the towns of Malungon, Maitum and Kiamba.
“Pacquaio is too busy with his boxing training instead of fulfilling his promises to us,” said Fulong Dulay, a B’laan tribe member in Maitum town.
They bewailed that the former eight-division boxing champion seemed to have forgotten his commitments to his constituents.
“All the more that Congressman Pacquiao could no longer fulfill all his promises to his constituents because he is now becoming bankrupt. And with his standing big loans, he may have to engage in 10 or 20 times fights to stay afloat,” said Dennis Fluvia, a California-based businessman who attended the 15th Tuna Festival in General Santos City, during a gathering with his media friends.
Meanwhile, the source said that Pacquiao’s planned ecozone in Barangay Olympog may no longer push through because the 300-hectare land that he bought is not viable because the place is near a watershed area.
On Tuesday, Pacquiao’s camp quickly denied reports of his supposed bankruptcy.
Pacquiao’s long-time lawyer, Franklin Gacal, also an elected councilor in General Santos, laughed off news that Pacquiao is on the brink of backruptcy.
“It’s nothing and false,” Gacal told The Manila Times in a phone interview.
“I Just heard it [bankruptcy) but there is no truth about it. Although Manny [Pacquiao] is a generous and kind person, he never goes in that kind of situation,” Gacal stressed.
Even the source of previous news reports about Pacquiao’s dire financial condition, Rex “Wakee” Salud, made a denial.
“I was merely misquoted and taken out of context,” Salud, who also apologized to Pacquiao, said in a separate interview.
Reports about the bankruptcy issue came right after Pacquiao confirmed that he had sold his house and lot in Los Angeles in the US for $2.7 million. The Pacquiao camp said the property was sold because nobody stays and uses that house. Also, the tax in US has been getting higher.
Gacal also said that his client remains in control of his financial investments here and abroad. Besides, the lawyer claimed that Pacquiao has different endorsement deals from various international and local companies amounting to millions of dollars.
Pacquiao is considered one of the richest athletes in the world due to his remarkable feat in professional boxing since 2003. He has an estimated net worth of $85 million.
Pacquiao, 34, will clash against Mexican-American Brandon Rios on November 24 at the Cotai Arena in Venetian Hotel and Casino in Macau, China for his comeback fight after being knocked out in the second round last December by Mexican archrival Juan Manuel Marquez.
It is considered as another multi-million dollar deal between Pacquiao and Arum, owner of Top Rank Promotion.