Press Release
October 19, 2011

Pacquaio deserves promotion as reserved army lieutenant colonel

Sen. Ralph G. Recto yesterday said the country should feel safer with boxing sensation and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao in the reserved force holding the rank of lieutenant colonel than entrusting its freedom to the hordes of skeptics.

Recto stressed Pacquaio deserves his promotion as a reserved lieutenant colonel of the Philippine Army amid criticisms questioning his qualification.

"Pacquiao should be commended instead of being ridiculed. Only a true Filipino patriot would volunteer his service to his country despite his accumulation of wealth and fame," Recto said.

"When the opportune time comes, which I don't eagerly anticipate, Pacquio could be the first boxing lieutenant colonel heeding the call to arms -- who would evoke fear among his future enemies who were his most rabid fans from foreign shores," he added.

He said Pacquiao could deliver the "one-two punch" needed in re-igniting the dying ember of passion among the uniformed population.

"His promotion is an opportunity not a problem. Pacquiao's job is to inspire the troops when morale is low, rein them in when discipline breaks down and temper them when the lust for bloodshed overwhelms reason," Recto said.

He said he now wonders if those belittling Pacquiao's recent promotion and credentials would also be ready to put their lives on the line when the winds of war come.

The Army has announced last week that Pacquiao now carries the rank of lieutenant colonel, effective last Sept. 21 when Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. approved Pacquiao's promotion in the Armed Forces of the Philippines reserve force.

Pacquiao previously held the rank of senior master sergeant, the highest post possible for a military reservist who does not have a college degree.

The law states that elected and appointed officials can be commissioned as officers in the service if they are degree holders.

Acting Army spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc said the military establishment considered Pacquiao's honorary doctorate degree in humanities from the Southwestern University in Cebu City in 2009.

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