GENERAL SANTOS: Philippine boxing hero-turned-congressman Manny Pacquiao had three more relatives elected to public office, but a representative for the star downplayed suggestions he was creating his own “political dynasty”.
The Commission on Elections said that two of the boxing superstar’s brothers, along with a sister-in-law, won village council seats in their home city of General Santos in the country’s south.
Rogelio and Bobby Pacquiao were elected councilors in separate districts of the city, while Bobby’s wife, Lorelei, won re-election as village chief.
Although villages are the smallest government units, seats are hotly contested and considered the first step in building a crucial grass-roots network for politicians aspiring to higher office.
It is common practice among Filipino politicians to have their relatives also run for office to put a “dynasty” in place in the hope of expanding their influence and keeping them in power.
The 34-year-old Manny Pacquiao, who recently expressed hopes of becoming president, has used the fame and riches generated from his boxing to launch a successful political career.
The high school drop-out won a seat representing Sarangani province in 2010, and was re-elected unopposed in May.
His wife Jinkee was elected vice-governor of Sarangani, also in May.
The boxing hero’s chief of staff, Franklin Gacal, denied that Pacquiao was trying to install his own political dynasty.
“Barangay (district) elections are non-partisan (and are) premised on ‘bayanihan’ spirit, a Filipino custom of helping one another in your community,” he said in a statement.