FEBRUARY 11, 2007
(STAR) By Sheila Crisostomo - Filipino boxing idol Manny Pacquiao has been invited by the party-list group of athletes known as Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) to join them and represent athletes in the House of Representatives.

The PBA sought yesterday Comelec accreditation for the coming polls.

PBA spokesman Orlando Castelo said that negotiations are underway to convince Pacquiao to represent the athletes in the House of Representatives.

"We hope we can get him (Pacquiao)," said Castelo who claimed that PBA was able to recruit retired professional basketball superstars Alvin Patrimono and Jerry Cordiñera.

Castelo who had played for the YCO team in 1960s and became a coach of Tanduay team, said the party-list group PBA had registered with the Comelec as early as September 2006 but their application was only approved last month.

Former professional basketball players Cris Bolado said the PBA filed yesterday documents that informed the Comelec that the group of athletes will participate in the party-list elections.

PBA treasurer Dave Chua said Filipino athletes are neglected, hampering the victory of local competitors in international sports tournaments.

Chua said once a PBA representative wins they would ensure the welfare of all active and retired athletes.

Pacquiao told to focus first on next bout before politics By Evelyn Macairan The Philippine Star 02/11/2007

Manila Mayor Lito Atienza advised boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao to focus first on his fight with Mexican Jorge Solis on April 21 in San Antonio, Texas, before he sets his sights on the May 14 elections.

Atienza said Pacquiao would still have three weeks to campaign should he decide to run.

Pacquiao, with wife Jinky by his side, took his oath as a member of the Liberal Party-Atienza wing last Friday in simple rites before Atienza at the Manila City Hall.

Pacquiao is not yet sure if he will run for congressman or mayor in his hometown Gen. Santos City.

"I have advised him to think about this (politics) seriously. I do not see any problem if he decides to enter politics. I am sure that he would give it the same priority. But as of now, he is still discerning it if he would run as mayor or congressman in his hometown General Santos," said Atienza.

Pacquiao is set to begin his six-week training for his fight in Texas, and if he decides to run for a local electoral post, the training will overlap with the campaign period prescribed by the Commission on Elections.

But Atienza is confident that the remaining three-week campaign period after his April 21 fight would be more than sufficient for Pacquiao to make a full campaign.

"He is a known national figure, he no longer has to introduce himself to the people. He can do the campaign in two weeks."

Atienza said Pacquiao’s lack of educational attainment would not be an issue that will discredit him. There were people who have led ordinary lives yet turned out to be good public servants.

He said that there are certain qualities that a candidate must possess. The candidate must have clean and clear intentions.

"This man (Pacquiao) has loyalty and gratitude in his heart. These are qualities that are hard to find," Atienza said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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