GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Filipino boxing idol and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel Pacquiao failed to show up during the awarding ceremony Sunday here where he was supposed to receive two military merit medals as a reservist lieutenant colonel of the Philippine Army.
Pacquiao was already dressed up in fatigue uniform to attend the awarding ceremony which was held in conjunction with the 35th AFP National Reservist Week in Mindanao Polytechnic College here when he suffered hyperacidity and fainted, prompting him to take some medicine and rest, Aquiles Zonio, Pacquiao’s media relations officer, said.
Top military officials, including Brig. Gen. Alexis Tamondong, commander of Army Reserve Command; and Brig. Gen. Alex Balutan, deputy commander of AFP-Eastern Mindanao Command, who graced the ceremony, tried to delay the opening scheduled at 1 p.m. and decided to proceed with the awarding ceremony two hours later after confirming that Pacquiao was not yet relieved and could not make it to attend the awarding program.
Later after the program, military officials led by Tamondong met with Pacquiao who was attending a bible study at the house of her mother, Mommy Dionesia, in Barangay Labangal where the awarding program was held at random.
Before a hundred people attending the bible study, Tamondong conferred Pacquiao, the concurrent executive officer of the 1st Sarangani Ready Reserve Battalion, with two military merit medals for showing exemplary accomplishments when he led the relief operations for victims of typhoon ‘Pablo’ in Compostela Valley in 2012 and for displaying meritorious achievements as Ambassador of Goodwill, and giving honor to the Filipino nation after winning the fight against Amercian boxer Timothy Bradley during their rematch on April 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao also received a Plaque of Appreciation for giving honor to the Reserve Force after regaining his WBO Welterweight title against Bradley.
For his part, Pacquiao thanked the Armed Forces of the Philippines for recognizing his accomplishments not only as a boxer but also as reservist officer of the Army. (Joseph Jubelag)
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