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Senator Manny Pacquiao drew inspiration from a boxing referee for his motto as the new acting president of President Rodrigo Duterte’s political party, PDP-Laban.

During Pacquiao’s oathtaking Wednesday (December 2), he said: “Fair but firm, this is the kind of leadership that you can expect from (me).”

It was American sportswriter Rafe Bartholomew who pointed out that the phrase, “fair but firm,” was a popular instruction uttered by renowned referee Joe Cortez before a boxing match starts.

“Diyos ko, did Manny just quote boxing ref Joe Cortez as his guiding light in PDP-Laban party leadership?” Bartholomew tweeted.

Bartholomew joked that Pacquiao could’ve borrowed the instruction of another well known boxing referee, Kenny Bayless.

“O yung iba pang referee si Kenny Bayless na may sabi ‘What I say you must obey,’” he said in response to a netizen.

Twitter user @osgarcia quipped: “buti di si Michael Buffer. “Let’s get ready to rumble.”

Netizen @BoleroVodcast asked: “Can it be no low blows’ next time?”

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