This is from IHT. Pacquiao is virtually a national hero in the Philippines. He is from the southern Mindanao city of General Santos. I wonder if the NPA (New People's Army) watched the match as well.
Philippine soldiers briefly halt war to root for Filipino boxing star
The Associated Press
Sunday, March 16, 2008
MANILA: MANILA, Philippines (AP) - The Philippines army declared a seven-hour truce with insurgents, allowing both sides to watch Manny Pacquiao win the WBC super featherweight title on Sunday.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo led Filipinos in rejoicing over Pacquaio's victory. The bout in Las Vegas provided a welcome distraction for Arroyo, who has grappled with widespread calls for her resignation over a corruption scandal.
"He is truly one of our nation's heroes who can unite us even in times of divisiveness," said Arroyo, who immediately congratulated Pacquiao by phone.
"I join the Filipino people in savoring this moment of sweet victory and national unity prompted by the courage, discipline and fighting heart of our boxing hero," Arroyo said in a statement.
A prominent left-wing group, the Peasant Movement of the Philippines, congratulated Pacquiao but urged Arroyo not to exploit his victory to prop up her record-low popularity ratings.
Many Filipinos watched the 12-round bout for free in public gymnasiums across the poor Southeast Asian country, including more than 2,000 soldiers and their dependents who cheered for him at army headquarters in Manila.
Military chief of staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon said he declared a seven-hour truce with insurgents so troops could watch Pacquiao, a reserve army officer who had previously visited soldiers in combat zones to boost their morale.
"Our soldiers wanted to pray and cheer for him. He's one of them," Esperon said.
Army Brig. Gen. Carlos Holganza said the army gymnasium was filled with deafening cheers when Pacquiao floored Marquez with a left hook in the third round. But the crowd fell silent when the Mexican boxer retaliated with rapid punches.
"I hope Manny will always have a fight so we'll always be united," Holganza said.
MANNY PACQUIAO BEATS JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ IN A SENSATIONAL SPLIT DECISION
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Manny Pacquiao won a narrow split decision to defeat Juan Manuel Marquez and claim the WBC super featherweight title on Saturday in sensational bout that left two of the world's best boxers bloody and triumphant.