Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao was stunned and shocked upon learning that the Abu Sayyaf has plans of kidnapping him or any member of his family as stated by President Benigno Aquino III from an intelligence report. But what troubles more the world’s first eight-division champ is that the President of his country is divulging sensitive information to the public which could send a wrong signal to the populace.
Pacquiao in a report by Agency France-Presse (AFP) as reported by Boxing Junkie, he stated that he is bewildered that the president himself did not discuss it with him first before going public.
Pacquiao is running for a seat in the Senate and is running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), which is an opposition party that endorses Vice President Jejomar Binay for President in the coming May elections.
“If it came from an intelligence report, it should have been kept secret and need not be announced. And why just now? We have to study this,” Pacquiao said.
Aquino added that aside from Pacquiao, he himself is also a target of an assassination plot by the same militant extremists, who has announced their ties with the ISIS. Aquino’s statement came after the group beheaded Canadian national John Ridsdel was dumped in the streets of Jolo Island.
But despite the statement, Pacquiao is still in shock over it as he has good relationship with the Muslim communities in General Santos City and in the Province of Saranggani. He claimed that he helped these communities with livelihood and there is no reason to believe that they would do such a thing to him or any of his family.
“I don’t believe our Muslim brothers (would) do that. We support them, we give them livelihood, so I don’t know where that came from,” Pacquiao added.
In response to Pacquiao’s complaints, the Philippine government, as always, have declined to answer it but Presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma stated that they are doing all their best efforts to ensure the safety of the country’s citizens and “thwart the acts of terror.”
Pacquiao stated that he is alarmed by the statement made by Aquino as all Filipinos are his “friends.” Pacquiao believes that with the honor he has given the nation through the sport of boxing, the Muslims would not dare harm him or any of his family.
“I was alarmed when he announced … the Abu Sayyaf wanted to kidnap me. I’m surprised because all Filipinos are my friends. I love them, especially the Muslims,” Pacquiao explained.
But as security protocol Pacquiao narrated that the he has beefed up his security especially for his family. Though he is not afraid of continuing his campaign around the Philippine countryside to woe voters to support his candidate bid, he just wants to make sure his family is secured and protected at all times.
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