SARANGANI Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao on Monday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to junk requests to stop the airing of his upcoming fight with Timothy Bradley, saying it does not constitute a violation of election laws.
“For obvious reasons, there is no legal basis to entertain their requests. Hence, with utmost respect, the Honorable Law Department should refuse to grant the requests in the letters of Rep. (Walden) Bello and Atty. (Rene) Saguisag,” said Pacquiao through counsels Romulo Macalintal and Antonio Carlos Bautista.
Bello, a senatorial candidate like Pacquiao, used to represent the Akbayan party-list group in the House of Representatives, while Saguisag served as senator during the administration of President Corazon Aquino.
“Clearly, in the letter of Rep. Bello, this Honorable Commission is merely being lured to render an advisory opinion on a hypothetical matter. Simply put, there is no actual or justiciable controversy presented before this Commission because the questioned media coverage of the fight of Manny Pacquiao will only happen on April 9, 2016, or more than a month from today, and given the current situation, many things may or may not happen,” Pacquiao said.
He explained that the 12-round bout between him and Bradley will only last for 36 minutes or even less in the event of a knockout during the early round.
“Thus, assuming but not admitting that said fight could be considered as political advertisement, surely, there would be no unfair advantage on the part of Pacquiao because he would still be well within the allotted 120 minutes TV advertisements which right is also enjoyed by other candidates,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao’s fight is schedules on April 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A similar complaint was also filed against Pacquiao in 2007 when he ran for mayor of General Santos City. He was then scheduled to fight Mexican boxer Jorge Solis a month before the 2007 polls. The Comelec prohibited the airing of the fight in General Santos City so as not to give the boxer undue political advantage during the campaign period.