Press Release
March 19, 2010

Villar grateful for Pacquiao support

Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Manny Villar shrugged off criticisms that he is capitalizing on boxing champ Manny Pacquiao's support to boost his presidential bid.

"Iyan ay tulong ng isang kaibigan. Ako'y natutuwa at napakalaki ng pasasalamat ko na si Manny ay openly na sumusuporta sa akin at ako rin naman sa kanya," added Villar.

Pacquiao will return to the country earlier than expected, with the cancellation of his concert in Hawaii. He left Los Angeles yesterday (Thursday). He is expected to arrive in Manila early Saturday morning.

The boxing sensation is openly supporting the presidential bid of Villar and said in numerous occasions that he would join the NP standard-bearer's campaign sorties. According to Pacquiao's camp, his congressional bid will be launched on March 26 in Sarangani.

Villar earlier said he would be inconspicuous in the crowd that will give Pacquiao a hero's welcome for the latter's victory over Joshua Clottey of Ghana.

The NP bet made this statement in response to warnings against taking advantage of the fanfare in Pacquiao's homecoming on Saturday.

"Ang unang araw, sa kanya lang yan. Sa kanya lang ang honor na 'yan. He deserves it. Ibibigay natin sa kanya 'yan bilang bayani ng Pilipinas," said Villar.

NP is planning to give its own grand welcome for Pacquiao, the party's congressional bet in Sarangani, at a proper time. He joined the NP last December 18 with Villar personally administering the oath at the pound-for-pound king's house in General Santos City.

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