METRO MANILA, January 27, 2006 (BULLETIN) The nation, led by the City of Manila, has prepared an unprecedented welcome today for boxing champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao.

Manila Mayor Lito Atienza said hundreds of thousands of fans and supporters are expected to line the route of a scheduled ticker-tape parade around the city, passing also portions of Parañaque, Pasay and Quezon City.

An adopted son of Manila, Pacquiao has made it a tradition after every big fight to pay a courtesy call on Mayor Atienza at City Hall where he is always given a warm reception.

Pacquiao is expected to arrive at Manila City Hall at 9 a.m. today. Atienza will then accompany the champion to Malacañang to pay a courtesy call on President Arroyo.

The boxer’s homecoming called "Tagumpay ng Pinoy’’ will include Quezon City, where Mayor Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte is expected to lead his constituents to personally meet the boxing champ.

The parade will begin at Manila City Hall and will cross Jones Bridge, turn right at Escolta to Plaza Sta. Cruz, then to Dasmariñas, right to Quintin Paredes; right to Reina Regente, left to Recto, right to Delpan, left to Zaragosa, right to R-10, right to Moriones, left at Juan Luna; right at Tayuman, right at Forbes, left at Laong Laan; right at Blumentritt; left to Espana; straight to Quezon Ave.; right to Scout Chuatoco; left to Mother Ignacia, right to Scout Esguerra, right to E. Rodriguez, left to Araneta, right to Aurora Blvd. (R. Magsaysay Blvd.), left to Nagtahan, right to Zamora and Penafrancia, left to Pedro Gil, right to Onyx; to Dagonoy Market.

At 4:30 p.m. Mayor Atienza will join Pacquiao in "A Tribute to Pinoy Champions’’ at the Rajah Sulayman Park fronting Baywalk in Malate with a special appearance by the world-renowned Lettermen.

This will be followed at 7 p.m. by the "Hataw Pacquiao Victory Party’’ also to be held at the Rajah Sulayman Park in coordination with Solar Entertainment and Solar Sports.

In this connection, traffic authorities announced that the northbound lane of Roxas Blvd. will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 3 p.m. while the southbound lane will be closed at 7 p.m.

Pacquiao is scheduled to return to his hometown General Santos City where he will also be given a champion’s welcome.

More than 4,000 cops to secure Pacquiao parade By RIZAL S. OBANIL & ELENA L. ABEN

The Philippine National Police–National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) under Deputy Director General Vidal Querol yesterday said security measures are in place for boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao’s arrival today.

Querol said "Task Force Pacquiao" was formed to secure Pacquiao and the routes of his parade.

The NCRPO chief said the main concern would be crowd control as he expressed confidence there would be no terrorist threat to the celebration.

More than 4,000 Manila policemen and those of other police districts will be deployed to provide security for a scheduled ticker tape parade in honor of Pacquiao who is scheduled to return home this morning from Las Vegas, Nevada.

The MPD said 550 policemen will be assigned for the security of Pacquiao when he leads the festivities at the Rajah Sulayman park in Malate, Manila following the parade.

Aside from the main ‘’security group’’ of 550 uniformed policemen, an additional 4,000 policemen will secure the routes that the parade will pass through.

MPD director Chief Supt. Pedro Bulaong said he has already ordered Supt. Co Yee Co of the Mobile Patrol Unit (MPU) to implement security measures along the routes of the ticker tape parade.

Some motorcycle policemen will also be assigned to clear the way for the motorcade.

Mweanwhile, the Filipino people have good reason to be proud and happy for what Pacquiao has achieved. He could be made a rallying point for national unity and provide a lasting respite from political turmoil hounding the nation for a long time now.

This was emphasized by Luzon and Mindanao leaders who pointed out that making Pacquiao’s convincing victory a unifying force for the nation’s good is not an impossible task as shown by the fact that moments after he vanquished Mexican champion Erik Morales, public officials belonging to opposing camps were captured on television appearing to have forgotten their bitter political rivalries in overwhelming jubilation.

Banker Ali B. Sangki and Pete S. Principe, a former governor in Central Luzon, said that amid the euphoria and national jubilation, the Filipino people should show ultimate humility to further earn the respect and admiration of other nations. (with a report by E. T. Suarez

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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