Don’t Ride Manny Pacquiao Too Hard on Foundation “Scandal”
by Charles Jay
The Manny Pacquiao Foundation is the latest part of the world champion’s life to take a hit.
When are “relief goods” for flood victims NOT relief goods? I guess when they are used clothing. As a result of not qualifying as relief goods, they were held by customs, remain undelivered, and are at the center of a lawsuit filed by the commercial shipper of these goods (not identified in the original report by TMZ.com), who insist that problems with customs are hardly THEIR problem, and take measures to cover their ass in that regard.
The amount in question is around $36,000, which might be enough to replace all four tires on one of Pacquiao’s cars, although come to think of it, it’s equal to about 22% of the entire tax bill he paid in 2010.
In light of all this, Pacquiao has now started to pay some attention. He’s bringing new, powerful blood onto the board of directors of the foundation, with heavy hitters like Bob Arum and Steve Wynn. They’ll be joined by some physicians from the Cleveland Clinic, along with a lawyer, an accountant, and, well, you probably know how the age-old tradition of “damage control” works.
Like a lot of things that have gone on with the Filipino icon in the last few years, the foundation probably had no sense of institutional control.
And I, for one, am not going to lay all the blame at his feet.
I cannot imagine that Pacquiao is aware of the day-to-day goings-on with this organization, and I certainly don’t think that the illegal shipment was sent with his knowledge or sanction. You can’t really expect the guy to be on top of all issues at once.
As much was said by the very writer Pacquiao has slapped with his most recent libel suit. Edwin Espejo, whose “Pacquiao Watch” column has reported on Manny extensively through the years, notes that the foundation was not exactly a full-time operation, with employees showing up at the office only when PacMan was in town. and asserts that there have been so many people out there with agendas of their own that it is not inconceivable that some of them – even those associated with the foundation – may be running a little game and using his considerable notoriety to do it.
That would not be the first time that has ever happened to a super-celebrity, nor will it be the last.
“Time and again I have always said some people around the boxing champion will always find ways to earn fast money at the expense of Pacquiao,” wrote Espejo, in a column published in the Minda News a couple of days ago.
That looks to be about the size of it.
Does this speak to the way Pacquiao would handle things – or not handle them, as the case may be – should he be elected to executive office, whether it’s a governorship, which he intends to pursue, or even the presidency? Well, you can look at it that way if you like. If he has unscrupulous people at the center of any of his operations, the harm could be such that he will have to take ultimate responsibility for it. And there’s only so many times you can say “I don’t know nuthin’ about it.”
Does this in any way change any fundamental aspect of his tax case, in which he is being asked for HIS documents that pertain to HIS income from HIS profit-making enterprises and endeavors?