Despite the loss by world champion Manny Pacquiao, Malacañang reassured him that “nothing will change”, that he would remain the “people’s champ” and a “national treasure”.
“Manny Pacquiao’s loss in Brisbane would not diminish the honors he bestowed to the people and to the flag. Nothing will change: Senator Manny Pacquiao will remain our People’s Champ and national treasure. Mabuhay ka, Manny,” Ernesto Abella, presidential spokesperson, said in a statement.
“The Palace thanks the public for the unparalleled support for Manny Pacquiao in his time of victory and defeat,” Abella added.
Pacquiao, a senator, is a staunch ally of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The 38-year-old Pacquiao supports the Duterte administration’s bid to restore the death penalty.
Another Duterte ally, Rep. Karlo Nograles of Davao City, said he felt that Pacquiao was robbed of the victory.
The judges scored 117-113, 115-113, 115-113 in favor of Australian Jeff Horn even after Pacquiao took control of the later rounds.
“I’m sure everyone will agree that Manny Pacquiao deserved to win that fight. At one point toward the final rounds, the referee even warned Jeff Horn that he was going to stop the fight,” Nograles said in a separate statement.
“Manny has been in this situation before. Let us unite and rally behind our People’s Champ. And let us prove once again that the grit, discipline and spirit of the Filipino cannot easily be overcome. Mabuhay ka, Manny,” Nograles added.
The last time Pacquiao suffered a defeat was against American Tim Bradley in a split decision. In their rematch, Pacquiao won via unanimous decision.