House Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero on Saturday handed over the cash incentives he promised to Filipino boxers who medaled in the Tokyo Olympics and asked the trio of Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial to continue aspiring for the gold.
In a simple handover ceremony via Zoom, Romero gave out a total of P5 million, with silver medal winners Petecio and Paalam getting P2 million each.“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, the gold medal is within reach.”
Edwin Galvez, CEO in one of Romero’s companies and AirAsia executive Erick Arejola handed the checks to the Tokyo Games heroes.
Hidilyn Diaz, the weightlifter who ended the country’s 97-year long wait for a Games gold, got her P3 million from Romero two weeks ago, with the NorthPort team owner in the Philippine Basketball Association also pledging lifetime free electricity to Marcial once his conglomerate operates the electric cooperative in Zamboanga.
To his delight, Marcial stood and showed some combinations before thanking the former amateur basketball godfather. Romero also appealed to Paalam not to turn professional yet.
Petecio and Paalam lost in contrasting styles in the finals of their respective divisions, with Paalam, the former scavenger from Cagayan de Oro, dropping a lopsided match to Great Britain’s Galal Yafai in the flyweight division.
Petecio, meanwhile, fought it out toe-to-toe against Japan’s Sena Irie and lost narrowly. She still made history as the first Filipino woman to medal in boxing in the Olympics.
“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.