Pacquiao returns to help flood victims

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.

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 had easily defended his

welterweight title against Bradley.

Pacquiao interrupted his vacation with his family in the United

States following the bout with Bradley to help thousands of victims

of flash floods that hit his province.

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 over 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.