Paquiao wins! The vote, that is.....
"The current WBO welterweight boxing champion and seven-time title holder scored the most personally satisfying win of his life in his birthplace in the country's national elections early Tuesday morning, soundly defeating a heavily favored candidate, Roy Chiongbian, from an entrenched billionaire clan to win a seat in the Philippines Congress representing the province of Sarangani on the island of Mindanao.
By doing so, Pacquiao, 31, becomes the first professional boxer to hold national public office while still active in the ring. After his victory in the Philippines' first fully electronic national elections was deemed largely official by early Tuesday morning, Pacquiao felt confident enough to declare victory over Chiongbian, 61.
Earlier, as election results came into his campaign office, the country's most famous athlete had no doubt.
For, even though the final vote tallies weren't complete, Pacquiao's approximately 90,000 votes out of 125,000 registered voters made it mathematically impossible for the boxing hero to lose.
"This is the biggest achievement of Manny's life. More than any boxing match," said Pacquiao's adviser, Michael Koncz, adding that Pacquiao will make an official proclamation of victory at 11 a.m local time Tuesday.
"It's a landslide!" an ecstatic Pacquiao, clad in jeans, sneakers and a Lacoste polo shirt, said excitedly 90 minutes after the polls closed nationwide Monday at 7 p.m., marking the conclusion of an electronic voting process that was surprisingly smooth despite scattered reports of violent uprisings, random attacks and at least six killings during the final days of voting.
Widespread campaign violence and murders have marred and disrupted previous national elections in this country.
Pacquiao's confidence Monday night stemmed from polling results relayed directly to him on mobile phones and powerful two-way radios by his poll watchers stationed throughout Sarangani's 379 clustered precincts. All of them were instructed to read results as they were reported electronically to the Philippines Commission on Elections, or Comelec."
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin