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Palace mum on criticism vs Pacquiao’s lieutenant colonel ranking

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Sun Star Manila

Sunday, October 16, 2011

MALACAÑANG on Sunday refused to comment on criticisms against the move of President Benigno Aquino III commissioning boxing champion Manny Pacquiao as a lieutenant colonel in the military’s reserve force.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said she is not cognizant of the process of the promotion of the pound-for-pound king.

“I’ll defer comment first on this issue because I do not really know a lot about it and the process that’s involved. So let us get guidance first from the Office of the Executive Secretary and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” Valte said over government-run Radyo ng Bayan.

Aquino on September 21 authorized the promotion of Pacquiao from a reserve senior master sergeant to a lieutenant colonel. He skipped the ranks of chief master sergeant, second lieutenant, first lieutenant, captain and major.

The promotion was said to be based on the recommendation of the Army recognizing the People’s Champ’s feat in giving pride to the country.

A defense security expert questioned the promotion of Pacquiao to the officer’s rank as the position requires a college degree as stated under Republic Act 7077 or the AFP Reservist Act of 1991.

Despite not finishing college, the Philippine Army noted that they are honoring Pacquiao’s honorary doctorate degree on humanities conferred by the Southwestern University in Cebu in 2009.

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