By CHARISSA M. LUCI
Manila, Philippines – Issue a public apology or else be declared as “persona non grata” and be banned from entering the Philippines.
This was the warning issued by YACAP party-list Rep. Carol Jayne B. Lopez, along with six other House members, as they filed House Resolution (HR) No. 2962 demanding a public apology from Canadian teen singing sensation Justin Bieber for mocking Filipino boxing idol and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao after he was knocked out by Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez last December 9.
“Having obviously gained financially from the outcome of his concert in this beloved country of the Hon. Pacquiao, Mr. Justin Bieber should have been more circumspect and prudent in the expression of his views more particularly because just like the Hon. Pacquiao, he is supposedly also being idolized by the youth in addition to the fact that the Hon. Pacquiao is a duly-elected representative of the people of Sarangani Province, whom Mr. Bieber has indirectly hurt and insulted when he made his distasteful posts,” the resolution said.
It would be recalled that Bieber staged a blockbuster concert at the Mall of Asia last May.
Joining Lopez in chiding Bieber for posting a few memes on Instagram last December 10 include Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Seth Frederick P. Jalosjos, Manila Rep. Amado S. Bagatsing, Palawan Rep. Antonio C. Alvarez, PBA party-list Rep. Mark Aeron H. Sambar, Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo A. Garbin Jr., and Ating Koop party-list Rep. Isidro Q. Lico.
Rallying behind their colleagues, the lawmakers cited in the resolution that Pacquiao is a “well-loved, respected, and admired icon not only in this country but of the entire world, because of his humility despite all his achievements which no one has ever exceeded in boxing history.”
“Mr. Bieber should have known that the Hon. Pacquiao has reached his stature as such as a result of sheer hardwork, determination, and firm belief in God, and despite such stature best exemplifies humility and grace even despite defeat,” the resolution added.
The House members, led by Lopez scoffed at Bieber for posting on Instagram a photoshopped image of the Disney character Simba that is seen leaning over Pacquiao who was knocked out of consciousness, and captioned “Dad, wake up.”
In another image, Pacquiao’s body before hitting the floor was photoshopped next to the late singer Michael Jackson, with the caption “Pacquiao doing the lean with MJ. Classic moment.”
Bieber, a clear supporter of Floyd Mayweather Jr., also made a comment that the American boxer whom he accompanied during a ringside fight last May “has nothing to gain fighting Pacquiao.”
“Wherefore, be it resolved as it is hereby resolved that Mr. Justin Bieber issue a public apology to the Hon. Emmanuel D. Pacquiao and the Filipino people for the distasteful comments he made after the Hon. Pacquiao suffered a knock-out in the hands of Juan Manuel Maquez of Mexico, and should he refuse to do so, that Mr. Justin Bieber be declared persona non grata and thus should not be allowed to enter the country at any time in the future,” HR 2962 said.