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Atienza: Pacquiao a ‘responsibility’

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 14:56:00 12/09/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Attending to Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas is a “responsibility” and should not be compared to defending the budget at the Senate, Environment Secretary Lito Atienza said Tuesday.

Atienza issued the statement after the Senate threatened earlier in the day to impose “drastic measures” against him for failing to attend the deliberations on the appropriation for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

“I consider it as a responsibility. Manny was facing the most important fight in his career and of course, my worry was what will happen to our country if Manny loses,” Atienza told a news conference at the Palace.

Pacquiao fought and won in his “Dream Match” against Oscar “Golden Boy” de la Hoya over the weekend in Las Vegas. Atienza was among many government officials who went to the US to watch the bout.

The senators’ threats against Atienza ranged from a reprimand to giving the DENR a P1 budget after the environment chief failed to attend the deliberations. They also threatened Atienza with non-confirmation at the Commission on Appointments.

“I think the two should not be compared. The budget hearing is important. Manny is also important. You cannot belittle the importance or value of what Manny gives to the country,” he said.

Atienza hurried to the Senate after the news conference in Malacañang around 2 p.m. He said he was prepared to defend the DENR budget.

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Written by joelguinto

TueUTC2008-12-09T09:15:30+00:00UTC12bUTCTue, 09 Dec 2008 09:15:30 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am12

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