MANILA, MARCH 15, 2010
(MALAYA) BY REGINA BENGCO - MALACAÑANG yesterday said it is "encouraging" the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to submit to President Arroyo its recommendations for the replacement of Chief Justice Reynato Puno so she could decide whether or not to appoint a new chief justice when Puno retires on May 17.

The Palace reiterated its earlier statement about appointing a new chief magistrate as Puno takes a two-week sabbatical beginning March 17.

"As we have said all along, we are encouraging the Judicial and Bar Council na ipadala ang kanilang mga listahan kay Pangulo at based on that magkakaroon ngayon ng pagkakataon ang Pangulo na mag-desisyon kung itutuloy niya (ang pag-appoint) kung sino ang papalit kay Chief Justice Puno," said Gary Olivar, deputy presidential spokesman.

Petitions on whether Arroyo could appoint Puno’s successor despite the election ban are pending with the Supreme Court.

Olivar said Puno’s two-week sabbatical leave, unlike his retirement, needs no action from the Palace because it’s just normal procedure in the Supreme Court.

Olivar said Arroyo has no more interest in getting the cooperation of the judiciary because she is already leaving Malacañang when her term ends on June 30

On the other hand, he said the incoming president would want to have the Chief Justice as his ally during his six years in office.

Among the contenders for Puno’s post are Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio; Associate Justices Renato Corona, Conchita Carpio-Morales, Arturo Brion, and Teresita Leonardo-De Castro; and Sandiganbayan presiding justice Edilberto Sandoval.

Everybody loves a winner

(MALAYA) PRESIDENT Arroyo yesterday congratulated World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao for once again displaying "unselfish patriotism and unyielding perseverance" in his victory over Ghana national Joshua Clottey.

"Sa pagkakaisa at pagsisikap, nagwagi muli si Manny para sa bayan. Ito rin ang ating landas tungo sa tagumpay ng sambayanan," Arroyo said in a statement issued by presidential spokesman Ricardo Saludo.

Deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar said Pacquiao’s latest conquest proved to the world that the Filipino’s talent and determination sets him apart from the rest of the world.

"We need to muster the same courage and strength that Manny Pacquiao exemplified, in order to rise above the politics of hate and fear. This is the only way we can rightfully choose the leaders who are up to the challenges of our time," he said.

Armed Forces chief Gen. Delfin Bangit and Army chief Lt. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu said Pacquiao displayed what a Filipino really is.

"We are happy because his (Pacquiao) win was obvious. It was obvious that he was not going to lose. To me and to the soldiers, what he showed will be another inspiration for us," Bangit said.

Bangit saw the fight at the theater of the AFP Medical Center. He was joined by soldiers wounded in combat.

Bangit said Pacquiao displayed skills, stamina and spirit (SSS) which are taught to Scout Rangers.

"What Manny showed is good to the troops who are also fighting (against threat groups)," he said.

Bangit said no promotions are in order but the military will give special recognition to Pacquiao.

Pacquiao is senior master sergeant and sergeant major of the Army reservists.

Mapagu saw the bout at the Army gym in Fort Bonifacio where a large screen was installed together with a large crowd of troops and their dependents.

"Manny is a consummate fighter. Really, really good. Although his opponent refused to fight toe to toe, he demonstrated patience to find openings. He again made our country proud. The Army is very proud of Manny. He is a real soldier," said Mapagu.

The Commission on Elections asked candidates to steer clear of Pacquiao’s homecoming. No date has been fixed.

A welcome parade for Pacquiao is not complete without his "patrons" former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza and former Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson.

"Let the country enjoy it. Let’s not mix politics with that celebration… Spare the event," Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said.

"That event represents that Manny is for Filipinos, not for any individual or group or organization," he said.

Pacquiao is running for congressman of Sarangani under the Nacionalista party. He had endorsed the candidacy of Manny Villar, the party’s standard bearer. – Jocelyn Montemayor, Victor Reyes and Gerard Naval

Pacquiao, a selfless Filipino patriot -- PGMA

(MALACANANG) The full text of the brief statement of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on the latest victory of boxing idol Manny Pacquiao released today through Press Secretary Crispulo J. Icban Jr.

“The nation again rejoices with and congratulates the people's champion, Manny Pacquiao, in forging another victory for the Philippines.

We take heart in Manny's proven formula of unselfish patriotism and unyielding perseverance.

Sa pagkakaisa at pagsisikap, nagwaging muli si Manny para sa bayan. Ito rin ang landas tungo sa tagumpay ng sambayanan.”

Mabuhay si Manny Pacquiao.

Villar congratulates world's greatest boxer By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) Updated March 15, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Manuel Villar Jr. lauded the victory of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao yesterday, describing it as a proof that perseverance can overcome any obstacle.

“Congratulations to the world’s greatest boxer,” Villar said.

He said Pacquiao has again exemplified how a Filipino can tell the world that a person with humble beginnings can still overcome hardships and become one of the world’s best, if not the best.

“Ang karangalang paulit-ulit nang ibinigay sa ating bansa ni Manny Pacquiao ay patunay lamang na walang balakid kailanman ang maaaring humadlang sa taong masidhing nagpupunyagi, isang taong may sipag at tiyaga (The honor that Manny gives the country is a proof that no obstacle can deter a person who is determined, a person with hard work and perseverance),” he added.

Villar, who has anchored his campaign on his “sipag at tiyaga” platform, cited how Pacquiao rose above poverty through sheer perseverance.

“Isang halimbawa si Manny na kaya nating talunin ang kahirapan, na magaling ang Pilipino, at karapat-dapat lamang na kilalanin ng buong mundo. Mabuhay ka, Manny! (Manny is a good example that we can overcome poverty, that the Filipino is good and worthy of recognition by the whole world. Long live Manny!),” Villar said.

Villar’s vice-presidential candidate, Sen. Loren Legarda, also lauded Pacquiao in his victory.

“Manny has once again made us proud. More importantly, he has shown us what good old-fashioned hard work and determination can achieve,” Legarda said.

“I’m very happy for him. He makes me proud to be Pinoy, and even prouder that he is with us in the campaign,” said Legarda, referring to Pacquiao’s commitment to join the NP in the campaign after the fight.

She also shared Villar in noting that Pacquiao is an inspiration to all Filipinos, especially those who belong to the not well-to-do families.

“He has been an inspiration not only to his fellow athletes but to all of us Filipinos. He is living proof that all the disadvantages we are given in life need not be obstacles to success,” Legarda added. “May we all strive to be like him and do the best we can whatever our line of work. Congrats to my kumpare, the champ.”

NP senatorial bet Adel Tamano was also proud over the victory of a fellow Mindanaoan.

“Once again, our Pambansang Kamao, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao has exemplified heroism, resiliency, love of country and sheer talent and dedication,” Tamano said.

He said Pacquiao’s victory “is a proof that amid problems besetting our country, here’s someone who epitomizes grit against all odds.”

“Manny Pacquiao is a son of Mindanao and as a fellow Mindanaoan, I am truly proud to see that Mindanaoans excel in the field of boxing. Manny is Mindanao’s greatest athlete, the Philippines’ pride and definitely among the world’s finest,” he said.

Tamano said he has always been a big fan of Manny’s indomitable spirit.

“He works very hard, he’s a positive thinker and he embraces change. He’s a great role model for the youth and his religion plays a major role especially during his fights, which I can identify with. I’m also doubly proud because Manny happens to be a proud supporter not only of Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar but of the entire NP slate as well,” he added.

Tamano also took exception that the world’s best pound for pound boxer is part of the NP family. “My warmest congratulations to Manny, coach Freddie Roach and the entire Team Pacquiao. My well wishes also go to Manny’s wife Jinkee and their children,” he said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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