Heading into his big fight against Oscar de la Hoya this Saturday night, you might have heard that Manny Pacquiao is a hero in his homeland of the Philippines. In case you had any doubts, THE PHILIPPINE STAR has this proof: police officials anticipate a zero percent crime rate in the greater Manila area while everyone - criminals included - takes time out to watch the fight.
You hear apocryphal stories about this happening during massive events such as the first Moon Landing, but for a boxing match? Yeesh. Officials also anticipate a 30 percent reduction in traffic in Manila during the fight.
One big reason is that Manila city officials are hosting public viewings of the fight will be held at various venues throughout the city, including the 5,000-seat Ninoy Aquino Stadium. So instead of having all the criminal-types out in the streets, they are going to be packed into cramped arenas with the masses, watching a fight that is likely to end with their man getting bullied by a less-skilled but just plain larger fighter.
I can’t imagine how that could end poorly. But despite their rosy estimates, a police spokesman said they will be out patrolling - just in case.
“Although we anticipate zero crime during the fight, we will not let our guard down, we will continue our patrols while the public is enjoying and watching the fight,” he said.
Speaking at the Talakayan sa Isyu ng Pulis weekly forum, Bartolome said policemen can watch the replay of the boxing match on television the following day.
Yes, because I can’t imagine that the police will be able to use whether the people pouring out of the arenas after the fight in joy or anger to judge the outcome of the fight.