We All Know Jinkee Pacquiao Is Rich; Here's What Else We Should Know

A simple post means so much more when you're in the public's eye.

ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) We know you've seen it by now: Jinkee Pacquiao's controversial IG post featuring two luxury bikes—yes, it looks like Hermés and Louis Vuitton bicycles exist—and the Twitter war that followed. Actress Agot Isidro practically single-handedly fanned the flames into hellfire after she posted her thoughts on the matter.

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"Alam namin na marami kayong pera," Isidro pointed out, adding that she couldn't care less what they spent it on—but, especially in the current situation, "Puede (sic) ba, konting sensitivity man lang?" The pandemic has put the lives of millions of people across the globe at risk not just because of the disease but also in terms of livelihood and plain day-to-day living. In the Philippines alone, 2.6 million workers have lost their jobs, with the Department of Labor and Employment estimating that around 10 million will be unemployed due to quarantine closures. 

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Jinkee Pacquiao's camp had something to say in reply to Isidro: "What Jinkee Pacaquiao posts on her Instagram page is not for us to judge," wrote Arnold L. Vegafria, the Pacquiao family's business manager, on IG, possibly forgetting about the very nature of social media.

What caught the people's eye in Isidro's post was arguably her use of the hashtag #nouveau, stamping the Pacquiaos as "new rich"—with all the negative connotations it brings (think tacky, but worse). To which Vegafria replied, "Please be more discerning about(sic) your use of the word 'nouveau.'"

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"The Pacquiaos have worked hard over the past decades to achieve their current standing in society, and despite their status, they have remained humble, low-key, and generous to whoever asks for their help," continued Vegafria, adding that Jinkee herself has made several business investments of her own. 

It is undeniable that Manny's incredible rags-to-riches story has inspired many. He did go from a poor boy in the backstreets of General Santos to a senator and one of Forbes' highest-paid athletes of all time, all accomplished with wife Jinkee by his side. His multiple donations during the time of the pandemic have not gone unnoticed, either; his legislative career, though, does leave something to be desired. We do note that he did pen a senate bill banning spitting and blowing of noses in public places in March, near the start of the quarantine period. 

"Their fervent desire to serve their countrymen continues to inspire them to pursue higher education and excel in their public service endeavors," is how Vegafria ended his reply. To which we ask, if they are fervent in their desire to become proper public servants, then perhaps we should also expect more—or in this case, a lot less—from, at the very least, their social media accounts?

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As Isidro and Vegafria both pointed out, nobody here is telling the Pacquiaos how they should spend their hard-earned money, nor does anyone have the right to do so. If the former Vice Governor of Saranggani Jinkee Pacquiao happens to own luxury bikes costing quite possibly around P1 million pesos—which she clarified were gifts from a certain Hermie Esguerra on the IG post after Isidro's call-out—and wants to eat sandwiches off hundred-dollar Hermes plates, there's nothing wrong with that. 

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But they should at least know that under R.A. 6173, or the "Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials," public servants and their families are expected to "lead modest lives appropriate to their positions and income." And as we all know, the Pacquiaos are very rich, so yes, they can afford to have hundred-dollar plates but the law also states that, "they shall not indulge in extravagant or ostentatious display of wealth in any form." 

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Jinkee Pacquiao was exercising her right to free speech when she posted the luxury bikes and it is free speech that allows people to comment, as well.  As a former politician, a current politician's wife—arguably one of the richest people in the Philippines, and undeniably, a celebrity, whatever she posts on Instagram will always have meaning beyond that of a simple picture. So how can you blame people for expecting some good judgment from someone of her stature, at the very least in terms of what to post and the prudent time to post it?

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When Hollywood actress Gal Gadot decided to bring in a star-studded ensemble to create a heartfelt cover of John Lennon's "Imagine," the well-meaning project was not deemed inspiring by the general American public. The cover was meant to lighten the mood, but they were derided for doing a musical skit—that musically speaking, wasn't even good—instead of actually helping. All audiences saw were multi-millionaires singing from the comfort of their luxurious homes while the rest of the world plunged into a pandemic. "What you see in this video is nothing more than perspective-fogged stars singing into a mirror," wrote Jon Caramanica of the New York Times. 

In comparison, the Pacquiaos have made their fair share of donations—especially with the amount of money they have—but for as long as COVID-19 cases continue to rise and tomorrow seems especially uncertain for some, it's no surprise people wouldn't want to see such extravagance.

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