Manny Pacquiao helps flood victims
MANILA, Philippines -- Manny Pacquiao returned to the Philippines on Saturday to help flood victims in his home province, a week after his loss to Timothy Bradley.
Pacquiao was showered with confetti Saturday, although his homecoming was much less festive than usual because of his split-decision loss in the welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.
He cut short a vacation with his family in the United States to help thousands of victims of floods that hit Sarangani province, the area he represents in congress.
"Let us forget what happened, let us accept it wholeheartedly for God has a plan for us," Pacquiao said at a news conference where men dressed as gladiators lined up as his honor guards.
Let us forget what happened, let us accept it wholeheartedly for God has a plan for us.” -- Manny Pacquiao, on his controversial loss to Timothy Bradley
Later, he told GMA television he had asked supporters to skip the traditional "hero's welcome" for him and instead focus on helping those affected by the floods. He said he has already sent relief supplies.
Pacquiao went to the Roman Catholic church in Manila's Quiapo district, where he addressed worshippers, urging them to accept the judges' decision and shun anger.
Pacquiao's controversial loss has prompted one of boxing's major sanctioning bodies to review Bradley's victory, the first step toward what promoter Bob Arum hopes will be "clarity" in the judging of the fight.
WBO president Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel said in a statement this week that the WBO's championship committee will review video of the fight with five "recognized international judges" and make a recommendation. He said the WBO does not doubt the ability of the scoring judges.
Most observers thought Pacquiao easily had defended his welterweight title against Bradley.
The civil defense office reported Saturday that flash floods from rain due to a low pressure over the main southern island of Mindanao earlier this week killed two people in Sarangani and displaced more than 8,000. At least 37 villagers and fishermen are still missing and more than 200 homes were damaged or destroyed, the disaster agency said.
At least eight other people have been killed and six others are still missing elsewhere in the country in the wake of the storm and the seasonal monsoon rains exacerbated by a typhoon passing northeast of the country. About 28,000 people also have been displaced.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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