No, it's not because Filipinos are fervent fans of One Direction or anything. A government official in the Philippines has delivered just the latest of this week's threats to Justin Bieber, after the pop sensation decided to mock Filipino national hero Manny Pacquiao on Instagram. "Yacap party-list Rep. Carol Jane Lopez is urging Congress to officially ban the Canadian singer from ever setting foot in the country after he posted allegedly insulting photos of Pacquiao on the Internet," reports ABS-CBN news. It's important to note here that the shamed boxer is a member of the Filipino Congress, but if Bieber is banned, he would join a rough and tumble group on Manila's blacklist that includes Sharon Stone, and Claire Danes. Still, the Canadian pop star's transgression could be the country's biggest celebrity headache yet.
Pacquiao suffered an embarrassing knockout and defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday night, and though he has, in fact, gotten up since then, the Pac Man and the rest of the world still can't shake this image, which became in an instant social-media sensation after the fight:
Bieber, who is friends with Pacquaio nemesis Floyd Mayweather, immortalized the image even more with Instagram pictures like this Lion King "joke":
Now, a lot of Instagram was full of Pacquaio photo jokes, Photoshopping, and screen shots from Nintendo Punch-Out. And Bieber is a pretty legitimate boxing fan. But you just don't do that to the Pac Man if you wanna hang out in the Philippines anytime soon. He's worshipped there, as 60 Minutes found, worshipped so much that the whole country stops when a Pacquaio fight happens — so much that he'll be running for re-election next year to the same Congress that hates Justin Bieber so much. Bieber is worshipped there, too. In 2010, the Biebs received a double-platinum record award in the country — and he plays to sold out concerts there.
"Lopez also urged the Filipino youth to stop listening to Bieber's songs and to stop going to his concerts," reports ABS-CBN, adding that "the party-list lawmaker said the series of photos from Bieber about Pacquiao were hurtful to all Filipinos who admire the boxing champ." Hey, beats castration.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.