As the controversy surrounding Manny Pacquiao and his perceived anti-gay statements continue, a new ally has apparently joined the Pac-Man’s corner. Journalist Ira V. Panganiban posted an open letter on his Facebook page, defending Manny against the criticisms of the gay community.
“…he was asked his opinion on public television,” Panganiban explained. “It’s not as if Pacquiao was walking around preaching and telling people how to act and what to do. Manny has never been the kind to dictate to people how to be.”
Panganiban also pointed out that when Manny is on the receiving end of criticism, the boxer would act like a gentleman and take it in stride. “When people called him names and accused him bad things, no one heard Pacquiao cry foul. He took it like the man that he was and moved on to be a world champion.”
In contrast, the journalist said, “Now that the gay community gets in the receiving end, they cry like little babies condemning him to high heavens.”
Panganiban even went further and implied that the outraged gay community was acting like the bigots they were decrying Pacquiao to be. “Now, who is the bigot?” he asked in his post. “Who cannot take the opinion of others and forces their belief on him? Take a wild guess.”
Currently receiving over 5,000 reactions and 1,386 shares, Panganiban’s post was applauded by a lot of netizens.
Facebook user Dlanssie Pelobello professed her agreement with Panganiban and believed that Manny’s statements were taken out of context.
“…sya ho ay tinanong (he was asked),” Pelobello explained. “At kung malawak ho ang pagiisip nyo, ang sinabihan ho nya ng ‘MASAHOL PA SA HAYOP’ ay yung sexual act .. ACT ho.. akto.. verb ho yan.. yung ginagawa ho ng mga homosexual.. hndi nya ho niyurakan ang pagkatao o hinusgahan ang pagkatao ng mga LGBT.” (And if you weren’t so narrow-minded, what he was saying as lower than animals was the sexual act. Act, as in the verb. The act performed by homosexuals. He wasn’t insulting nor judging the character of the LGBT community.)
The debate, however, rages on; as other netizens took the opposing side.
“I respectfully disagree, Ira,” Dino Enrique stated. “Manny crossed the line when he discriminated the LGBT… Discrimination, like bullying, is wrong. No gray area here. Let’s accept the fact that there should be zero tolerance against any form of discrimination. Manny cannot be considered an average Juan who can go tactless and won’t be held accountable. He is a member of the congress and is running for higher office. Discretion must be practiced. Yes, he apologized and everybody needs to move on but not to the point of sweeping this under the rug.”