On the sidelines of the Pacquiao-Ugas fight in Las Vegas last August 21 was his wife of 22 years, Jinkee Pacquiao, resplendent in an all-pink, luxurious outfit. Just how luxurious? According to an article by Preview.ph, the entire ensemble, from dress to accessories, costs at least a jaw-dropping P2.2 million.
This lavish display drew criticism from corners online. Netizens and observers hit back at such a show of wealth, especially during the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic.
“Wala ka sa timing, hindi ka marunong umunawa sa sitwasyon ng mundo ngayon,” said one critic.
Nonsense, said Senator Pacquiao.
“Yung asawa ko, mukhang mamahalin lang yun, pero hindi naman masyadong mahal yung mga isinusuot niya,” he said in an interview last week in The Chiefs in One News.
The eight-time world champion added, “At 'yan namang pera na 'yan, dugo at pawis, hard-earned money ko.”
Pacquiao also alluded to a topic that had occupied his mind (and his many public statements) before he began training in earnest for the Ugas (then Spence) fight: corruption.
“Hindi 'yan ninakaw sa gobyerno, hindi 'yan ninakaw dun sa mga tao, kundi pinaghirapan ko 'yan, pinaghirapan namin,” he said. “Now, kung ano man meron kami, dream namin 'yan. Sakripisyo, dugo at pawis ang puhunan namin para kami maging masaya,”
The senator also lamented the damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t nature of being in the public, political eye, especially with the national elections looming next year.
“Yun po ang ano natin, unless kung magsuot kami ng mga pangmahirap, e, magiging plastic din kami. Na sabihin na, ‘Ang style ng mga trapong politician,' minsan lalo pagdating ng eleksyon, magsusuot 'yan, kung puwede lang punit-punit yung mga damit, e, para sabihing mahirap, e, hindi ba?” he said.
“E, hindi kami ganun, e. Hindi kami marunong makikipagplastikan.”
Jinkee herself had earlier addressed the criticisms in an Instagram post.
“Some people have so little going on in their lives, they would rather discuss yours,” she said.
*This story originally appeared on SPIN.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.