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Arroyo: Pacquiao ‘hero,’ ‘icon of masses’

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 13:34:00 03/16/2008

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo hailed boxing champion Manny Pacquaio, who won the World Boxing Council superfeatherweight title on Sunday, as a “hero” and “icon of the masses” who unites the country in “times of divisiveness.”

In a statement issued shortly after Pacquaio defeated Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in a split decision at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Arroyo said Pacquiao “brought immense glory to the flag and to the Filipino people.”

And like Pacquiao, she said the nation would “overcome the battles ahead, with courage and a steadfast faith in ourselves, our country, and the Lord Almighty.”

“Once more, he as inspired us with his big fighting heart, his determination and grit,” Arroyo said.

“He is truly one of our nation’s heroes who can unite us even in times of divisiveness. An icon of the masses, Manny Pacquiao mirrors the champ within every Filipino, here and abroad,” she said.

Pacquiao is an ardent supporter of Arroyo, who is fighting off allegations of massive corruption, the latest of which stemmed from the botched national broadband project.

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Written by joelguinto

SunUTC2008-03-16T05:43:11+00:00UTC03bUTCSun, 16 Mar 2008 05:43:11 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am03

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