Eight-division boxing champ and incumbent senator Manny Pacquiao arrived in Manila before dawn on Monday to the warm welcome of supporters, a week after he lost to Yordenis Ugas for the WBA welterweight championship.
Around 60 supporters were at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 before 3 a.m. bearing tarpaulins and banners, according to a report by Corinne Catibayan on GMA News’ Unang Balita.
The supporters disregarded physical distancing as they stood near each other hoping to see Pacquiao.
They made a commotion when one staff member got thousands of money from a bag, but he did not give the cash away.
The boxing champ arrived at 3:23 a.m. on Philippine Airlines flight PR 103 from Los Angeles together with his family and staff.
Pacquiao was surprised but grateful to see his supporters at NAIA.
“Pasensiya na kayo hindi tayo nagwagi pero at least lumaban tayo, hindi tayo sumuko,” he said.
(I’m sorry I did not win [against Ugas] but at least I fought, I did not surrender.)
Ugas defeated Pacquiao in a masterful 12-round unanimous decision victory to retain the WBA welterweight championship on Sunday, August 22 (Philippine time) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao lost as all three judges were in favor of the 35-year-old Ugas after 12 rounds of thrilling match at the T-Mobile Arena.
“Hindi ko akalain na sasalubong sila nang ganito. Sabi ko tahimik lang dahil talo naman tayo, hindi tayo nagwagi,” he said.
(I did not expect they will welcome me like this. I told them not to make noise because I lost and did not win.)
“Laki ng pasalamat ko dahil para rin akong nanalo [sa] mainit na pagsalubong,” the senator added.
(I am so grateful because it is like I also won with their warm welcome.)
From NAIA, Pacquiao and his family rode in the service van of the hotel while his personal vehicles followed in a convoy.
He is expected to give an announcement regarding his plans for his boxing career and Eleksyon 2022 after his 10-day quarantine.
The PDP-Laban faction led by Pacquiao elected Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III as party chairman, replacing President Rodrigo Duterte, the party’s executive director Ron Munsayac said Sunday.
Pacquiao’s faction has a current rift with the PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
Credit: KG, GMA News