Manny Pacquiao Military – Manny Pacquiao is now officially a lieutenant colonel in the Reserve Force of the Philippine Army, after being donned the military rank in a ceremony Monday morning in Fort Bonifacio.
Major General Emmanuel Bautista, Commanding General of the Philippine Army, and Brigadier General Alex Albano formally gave the boxing champion a shoulder board bearing his new rank.
In a prepared speech, Pacquiao said he plans to take his new responsibilities as a member of the reserve officer corps of the Philippine Army seriously.
“I want to take my role and responsibility to higher ground, to compensate for the discomfort I probably caused the Philippine Army family when some personalities questioned my commissionship as lieutenant colonel,” Pacquiao said.
“Obviously, I am not trained for military operations, but it should be emphasized that reservists, by their true nature, are civilian provisional first and military personnel second,” he added.
Pacquiao said, he never sought to be promoted to lieutenant colonel.
As a new lieutenant colonel, Pacquiao also became the executive officer of the Sarangani 1st Early Reserve Battalion.
His role in the reserve forces will be non-combat, however. Instead, Pacquiao will be in charge when there are relief operations or disaster management operations.
Pacquiao earned the lieutenant colonel rank in the Reserve Force last September 21, jumping five ranks from his previous rank of master sergeant.
His commissionship was questioned by several quarters, with defense and security expert Dr. Clarita Carlos saying that Pacquiao’s honorary degree and status as a world boxing champion was not enough to earn him the rank as a commissioned officer in the Philippine Army.
Maj. Gen. Bautista defended Pacquiao’s new rank, however, citing the provisions of Section 44 of Republic Act 7077, which provides that elected officials and presidential appointees may be commissioned into the Reserve Force.
Asked to comment on the criticisms, Pacquiao said, “Siguro yung mga nagku-question, hindi masyadong nakakaintindi. Intindihin na lang natin.”
Pacquiao promised the Philippine Army that he will continue “to win my few more fights and bring honor to our country.”
“Should you need legislative support, my congressman’s office will be there to help you,” he added.