Manny Pacquiao gets flak for new Philippine Army reservist rank

ABS-CBNNews.com reports that boxer-lawmaker Manny Pacquiao, who is also the congressman of Sarangani province, is getting flak for his new rank as lieutenant colonel in the Philippine Army’s reserve forces. That means, in case of war, he can command a battalion.

ABS-CBNNews.com reports that boxer-lawmaker Manny Pacquiao, who is also the congressman of Sarangani province,  is getting flak for his new rank as lieutenant colonel in the Philippine Army’s reserve forces. That means, in the event of war, Pacquiao can command a battalion.

 

Pacquiao started out as  a master sergeant. But after Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. signed his commissioned papers, the boxing champ jumped five ranks from the regular process of becoming an officer: chief master sergeant, second lieutenant, first lieutenant, captain, and major.

 

In the face of criticism, Philippine Army spokesperson Major Harold Cabunoc explained, "Being an elected official at ang karangalan na ibinigay ni Pacman sa buong bansa at, of course, sa Army, parang hindi sapat na siya lang ay isang senior master sergeant (Since he is an elected official and he’s brought so much honor to the country and, of course, the Army. It didn’t seem enough if he just got promoted to senior master sargeant)."

 

Republic Act 7077 states that any elected official can have the rank of an officer in the reservist force of the Armed forces of the Philippines if he or she finished any college degree. Though Pacquiao only finished high school, Cabunoc cited the honorary doctorate degree that was conferred to him by Cebu’s Southwestern University (SWU) in 2009.

 

However, there are those like defense and security expert Dr. Clarita Carlos, who think that an honorary degree and Pacquiao’s being a world boxing champ are not enough to justify his astounding promotion. "An honorary degree as the term suggests, honorary. It does not confer skills, knowledge and competencies. Kaya nga ’honorary.’ Binibigay sa iyo ng hindi ka naghirap (That’s why it’s called ’honorary.’ It was given to you without you having to work for it)," she said.

 

Carlos emphasized that she was not dismissing Pacquiao’s achievements in any way. She only pointed out that promoting him to lietenant colonel is a bit too much. She said: "That’s the problem with us. Ang sense of proportion natin, sobrang baluktot (Our sense of proportion is screwed up)."

 

For more on this story, log on ABS-CBNNews.com.

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