Where in the world can you find a country with zero crime? The real answer is …there is none. The world’s most peaceful countries will have at least a crime or two, even if it’s just a domestic crime. But for a few hours, one country stands out from the rest and that is the Philippines, a country in Asia with 90 million people.
On Saturday December 6, 2008 (Sunday in the Philippines), the country becomes the most peaceful country in the world. The reason is, believe it or not, criminals are glued to their television sets to watch their favorite boxing hero Manny Pacquiao, in a boxing match with the equally-famous Oscar de la Hoya at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The last boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and David Diaz for the lightweight crown, there was hardly a crime committed in the country. In metro manila, “there was no registered reported for NCRPO for the period covered, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. during the duration of Pacquiao-Diaz fight, said Police Director Geary Barias, Chief of the National Capital Region (NCRPO). He added that there was also a smaller number of vehicles in the streets of metro manila.
In the case of Pacquiao’s last fight with Erik Morales, a crime rate of nearly zero was reported throughout the country hours before and immediately after the fight. Even the separatists and known terrorist groups would bury their arms and come down from the hills to the areas where there is television just to watch the boxing event. The insurgent group, New Peoples Army (NPA) would even bring television sets up in the mountains complete with cable system to watch the fight live satellite or cable TV.
In the case the Pacquiao-Barrera match, the same situation prevailed. Barias said that every time that Manny Pacquiao has a title match, Metro Manila whose crime rate is higher that most cities in the country suddenly become a very peaceful place with its streets almost deserted.
Whenever Manny Pacquiao has a major boxing fight, the entire nation is on standstill. Even the most critical politicians who cannot agree on anything while campaigning or doing their legislative work, are found seated side by side in public places where free cable television is provided by local government units. Almost all private and government owned television networks reported almost 100 percent viewership of the boxing event. Some politicians would exploit the occasion for some media exposures and mileage. They would be seen on nationwide television mingling with their constituents to get votes come election time.
The popularity of Manny Pacquiao is a phenomenon in the Philippines. Because of his popularity in the country and elsewhere in the world, Manny Pacquiao becomes an instant ambassador of goodwill for the Philippines. His words and pronouncements are heard, read and seen all over the world. He can promote the country as a peaceful place to stay or visit and he can tell the world that the Philippines can survive the current world economic slowdown or he can effectively promote the country as the best investment area in this part of the world.
The most publicized boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Oscar de la Hoya is taking place in Las Vegas Nevada in a little over 24 hours and with this fight billed as the “Dream Match,” the Philippines may once more emerge as the most peaceful country in the world.