Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao. Pic: AP.

The comments of physicians of Dr. Rustico Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, and forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun barely warmed up the cyberspace when the barrage of virulent reactions from both named and unnamed sources drowned what would have been a healthy discussion (no pun intended) of the state of health of boxing icon Rep. Manny Pacquiao following his knockout loss in December.

A report by Philippine Star’s Abac Cordero suggested that the camp of Pacquiao is mulling a civil suit against Dr. Jimenez, although he did not name who his source was.

From Israel, where Pacquiao is vacationing with his family, there was no mention of any civil suit.  Instead, man-Friday Michael Koncz said everything is okay with Pacquiao.

Pacquiao himself reportedly told Manila Bulletin’s Nick Giongco that he was good.

Pacquiao’s bosom pal and father figure Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson probably gave the most plausible reason for such heated reactions from fans and supporters of the Filipino living boxing legend.

He says the report could affect Pacquiao’s future fights in the US where every state athletic commission follows strict medical protocols for boxers who have suffered knockout loss, one as devastating as what the fighting congressman suffered against Juan Manuel Marquez.

I doubt however if one opinion and comment from a Filipino doctor, who probably is not licensed to practice in the US, would carry as much weight as the own findings of the Nevada State Athletic Commission where Pacquiao is likely to fight again when he emerges from his mandatory suspension.

When that will be are matters of choice and decision that rest solely on Pacquiao.

Pacquiao, if indeed he develops the dreaded disease that has reduced the great Muhammad Ali into a pathetic sight, will not acquire Parkinson disease overnight.  Nor will the KO punch of Marquez be enough to deny him the license to fight again in Las Vegas.

But the long-term and cumulative effect of punches Pacquiao has taken in fights and the much longer and more punishing sparring sessions could one day afflict him with the disease.

Heaven forbid, though.  It would be a waste seeing a Rolando Navarette in him down the road.  Anybody who had a glimpse of Navarette showing his still chiseled body can only empathize with what he is suffering now.  He mulches fish daily at the fishing port complex for a living even though he now walks with a strut and speaks barely audibly.

Anybody who would dismiss outright the observations made by Dr. Jimenez and the opinion of Dr. Fortun should go and see Navarette now.

Did doctors Jimenez and Fortun overstep the bounds of their medical oaths by publicly expressing their opinions? I don’t think so. In fact, every Pacquiao-loving fan should welcome it.

Even Team Pacquiao should also see to it that the concerns raised by the said physicians and quite a handful of writers are properly and immediately addressed.

The sooner the better for everybody.