GMA  NAMES  PACQUIAO  RP'S  SPECIAL  ENVOY  TO  BEIJING  OLYMPICS 2008
 
[PHOTO AT LEFT - AS SHE SAW IT – A jubilant President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo mimicks to new WBC lightweight title holder Manny Pacquiao the blows that sent Mexican-American David Diaz crashing to the canvas on the ninth round of their WBC title fight last June 29. The Filipino boxing icon paid a courtesy call on the President today, Friday (July 4, 2008) at the Malacanang Music Room. The “Pacman” is the first Asian to win four world crowns in four different weight divisions. (Marcelino Pascua-OPS/NIB Photo)]

MANILA, JULY 4, 2008 (OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY, MALACANAG) President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo named this morning reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight champion Manny Pacquiao as the country's special envoy to the 2008 Beijing Olympics set next month in the Chinese capital. The President made the announcement during the Filipino boxing icon’s courtesy call in Malacañang hours after he arrived in Manila early this morning from the United States.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said that “Pacman” will carry the Philippine flag in the Beijing Olympics.

"Karangalan ko rin na magdala ng flag sa Olympics (It’s also an honor to carry the Philippine flag at the Olympics),” Pacquiao said.

During Pacquiao's courtesy call, the President even mimicked the boxing icon’s blows that brought down former champion David Diaz during their fight Sunday morning (Manila time, June 29) in Las Vegas.

The President also presented Pacquiao with a cake resembling a globe, with the boxer's figure holding the latest addition to his belts on top and his three other belts at the bottom.

The cake, called “Top of the World,” took the Palace’s in-house pastry chefs Ryan Otmana and Harvard Quezon three days to bake.

Before leaving Malacañang, Pacquio and another Filipino boxer - Dennis Laurente received from the President certificates of recognition for excellence in boxing.

Laurente triumphed over Steve Quiñones of the United States in the undercard of the Pacquio and Diaz title clash. Pacquiao was accompanied by his wife Jinky, and members of Team Pacquiao.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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