Justin Bieber Facing Philippines Ban for Mocking Manny Pacquiao's Boxing Defeat

Singer joked about athlete's Dec. 8 loss to Juan Manuel Marquez; nation's congress demands formal apology

By Rebecca Macatee Dec 20, 2012 4:02 PMTags
Manny Pacquiao, Justin BieberDavid Livingston/Getty Images, Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Politicians in the Philippines do not have Bieber fever.

In fact, the nation's Congress is proposing a nationwide ban of Justin Bieber if he doesn't apologize for mocking boxer Manny Pacquiao.

On Dec. 8, Pacquiano, beloved in his native Philippines, was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez. The Biebs joked about Manny's defeat, posting an Instagram shot of the falling athlete with a Photoshopped Michael Jackson in parallel lean. "Pacquiao doing the lean with MJ .. Classic moment," he quipped. He also shared an image of the Lion King's Simba nudging Manny as he did his dead father, Mufasa, in the Disney flick.


Politicians in the Philippines were not amused by Justin's cracks at their beloved boxing son and congressman. (In 2012, Pacquiao was elected to the House of Representatives representing the district of Sarangani.) Per the Telegraph, seven lawmakers in the Philippines Congress issued a statement saying, "Mr. Bieber should have known that the Hon. Pacquiao has reached his stature as such as a result of sheer hard work, determination and firm belief in God, and despite such stature best exemplifies humility and grace even in defeat."

They added that the Biebs insulted not only Pacquiao but the entire country's population. They went so far as to say that Justin needs to issue a formal apology for his "distasteful comments...lest he be declared persona non grata."

So not swaggy.