House Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero (1-Pacman Partylist) on Saturday delivered his promise to the Tokyo Olympics boxing medalists, while making an appeal to one of them.
Romero virtually led via Zoom the simple handover of checks to Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, and Eumir Marcial at the AirAsia headquarters inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
In a ceremony aptly dubbed “Bagsik Ng Kamao,” Romero fulfilled his pledge of P2 million each to silver medalists Petecio and Paalam, as well as P1 million to bronze winner Marcial.
"Nesthy, Carlo and Eumir brought immense pride and hope to the Filipino people amid these trying times due to the pandemic. They truly deserve these blessings," said Romero. “But please, your Olympic journey should not stop in the Tokyo Games, abot kamay na ninyo ang pangarap ninyong mag-uwi ng ginto.’
Edwin Galvez, CEO in one of Romero’s companies, and AirAsia executive Erick Arejola handed the checks to the Tokyo Games heroes.
Romero also stressed the significance of their victories to Philippine boxing, saying: "They proved once again na kaya talaga ng mga Pinoy na makipagsabayan sa buong mundo pagdating sa boxing like what Manny Pacquiao and our other great boxers did. Iba ang bagsik ng mga kamao ng Pinoy!"
Two weeks ago, Romero personally handed a P3-million check of Hidilyn Diaz, the country’s first Olympic gold medal winner.
Romero also promised that Marcial will have a lifetime free electricity since he operates the electric cooperative in Zamboanga City
To his delight, Marcial stood out and unleashed some combinations before thanking the former amateur basketball godfather.
Romero also appealed to Paalam not to turn professional yet, saying, “Bata ka pa at may Paris Olympics pa, baka du'n mo masungkit ang ginto.”
"We are extremely proud of these sports heroes. Their achievements will surely serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Filipino boxers," said Romero.
The genuine sports patron's handing of the rewards to the three fighters couldn't have a better timing as they were bound to return to their respective hometowns.
"Saktong-sakto ito for them to celebrate their victories with their families," said the owner of the NorthPort Batang Pier team in the PBA.
Petecio, Paalam, and Marcial sent their warmest gratitude to Romero and said that his burning passion to help Philippine sports reach greater heights will definitely encourage the athletes to press on despite the many challenges.