Well, Maria Geraldine “Jinkee” Pacquiao’s latest fight went a lot smoother than her husband’s. In fact, she beat up her opponent so bad, it seems, that the referee, so to speak, came in and stopped it very early.
Paris Hilton with Manny and Jinkee Pacquiao
Photo; Chris Farina/Top Rank
Even though they hadn’t yet officially compiled a final vote count in her race to become Vice Governor of the Sarangani province in the Philippines, the wife of Manny Pacquiao, who doubles as a professional boxing hero and a congressman in his native country, had already gotten a concession speech from Elanor Saguigit, who ran against her.
In effect, Saguigit threw in the towel. The verdict was a foregone conclusion prior to Election Day, and the Commission on Elections’ Transparency Server, which made an unofficial count had Jinkee collecting almost 88% of the votes cast at a point where a little less than 76% of the returns had been registered
The image of Jinkee might best be known to American audiences from when she broke down and cried after her husband was knocked out against Juan Manuel Marquez last December (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOdCUEsiJlc). Then, as the couple did a joint interview on Good Morning America, she had been asked whether she wanted Manny to hang up the gloves, and responded that she did. “You know the answer to that,” she said. “He knows what I am asking him.”
Later, she told USA Today, “Boxers risk their lives; (some) end up in wheelchairs. I don’t want that to happen to Manny.”
In this particular case, her knockout win was swift and early. She was proclaimed the winner before 7 AM on Tuesday.
Politics was something Jinkee Pacquiao did not seem to aspire to. As the wife of a living legend, she had stayed mostly in the background, and although she did product endorsements and was a fashion consultant, her role in the headlines was chiefly associated with some of the marital differences her and her husband had experienced, which were big news in the Philippines and has gained considerable mention in the United States, where the eight-time world champion had been doing his fighting.
But the truth is that she had her eye on elective office. Upon Manny’s election in 2010, she was quoted as saying, “Maybe someday I will take place Manny’s position when he becomes a senator” (he may do that in 2016). In October she officially announced that she was taking dead aim at the office of Vice Governor, which may not make for a substantial power base but represents an ambitious undertaking nonetheless. Part of her motivation, as she stated it, was that there was a certain “sense of guilt, given that my family has so much of the good life while many of my countrymen have so little.”
She brought religion into her campaign, to a certain degree. Naturally there were skeptics who pointed to her lack of experience in the political arena, to which she responded, in one interview, “The question of my qualification to run for vice governor is a matter between me, the Sarangans and my Creator.” Manny had said that her campaign was a result of “God’s will.” She agreed, to a considerable extent. “If it’s God’s will for me to win as Vice Governor, so be it,” she told reporters.
The 34-year-old, whose family is involved in import and export in the coconut industry, pledged to support funding for schooling, health care and the water system, and cited the need for an improvement in the infrastructure of the province. Needless to say, she also supports the initiatives that her husband is pushing in the congress. She ran under the banner of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and her husband’s People’s Champ Movement (PCM) Party.
Meanwhile, Manny encountered even less resistance than he is likely to on November 23, when he meets up with former WBA lightweight champ Brandon Rios in Macau. He won re-election to his congressional seat while running unopposed.