Quantcast
Latest Stories

INQUIRER MINDANAO

Pacquiao starts own stable of pols

By

THE NOW equally famous Mommy D, the name that Dionisia Pacquiao adopted after her rise to fame as a TV comedienne and product endorser, shows off the dancing skills she acquired during a campaign rally of her son’s party, People’s Champ Movement, in General Santos City. AQUILES Z. ZONIO

Eight-division boxing champ and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao is banking on his so-called performance and “zero corruption” campaign to pull off wins for his party-mates against formidable election opponents in South Cotabato, Sarangani and General Santos City.

Although he is unopposed in his reelection bid in the lone district of Sarangani, Pacquiao has taken the role of a kingmaker in the  region, giving his time, efforts and resources to boost the chances of candidates under his own party, People’s Champ Movement (PCM), which has coalesced with the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

His wife, Jinkee, is vying for vice governor of Sarangani against a veteran and tested opponent, incumbent provincial Board Member Eleanor Saguiguit of the Liberal Party, and  independent candidate Jose Lorde Villamor.

Pacquiao’s younger brother, Rogelio, is up against incumbent Pedro Acharon Jr., in the first district, which covers General Santos and the towns of Polomolok, Tupi and Tampakan in South Cotabato.

Pacquiao has teamed up with General Santos’ top councilor and son of a billionaire fishing tycoon, Ronnel Rivera, who is trying to unseat incumbent Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio.

Custodio won by over 30,000 votes against Pacquiao when they faced off during the 2007 congressional race.

Performance yardstick

During the opening campaign salvo of the PCM-UNA, Pacquiao boasted his performance as a lawmaker. But his critics are asking: What performance?

According to the website of the House of Representatives, Pacquiao, in his first term as lawmaker, authored 12 bills and coauthored 47 others. Not even one measure became a law.

“During his first term as congressman, Sir Manny focused on meeting what the constituents want,” said his chief of staff in General Santos, Bren Evangelio. “We provided projects based on the recommendations of barangay captains and mayors.”

“On his second term, we will focus on addressing the needs of the people,” he added.

From 2010 to 2013, Evangelio claimed that his boss constructed about 20 multipurpose mini-gymnasiums throughout the province through his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

“We rehabilitated a public market and constructed barangay halls, water systems, a slaughterhouse and classrooms in different towns of the province,” he said.

This is apart from the livelihood projects, scholarship program, medical and mortuary assistance that Pacquiao had extended to poor residents of the province.

“On top of these, Sir Manny has given lots for landless residents and has been spending P2 million to P3 million a month out of his own pocket to settle the medical bills of poor patients from Sarangani in a GenSan-based private hospital,” Evangelio said.

From 2013 to 2016, he said, Pacquiao would set aside much of his PDAF for building health centers, birthing homes and classrooms in various towns in his district.

Dynasty

When Pacquiao ran in 2010, he promised to make a difference in politics and governance. He presented himself as an alternative candidate willing to help uplift the living conditions of residents and bring in investors to boost the local economy.

Pacquiao has hardly made any difference in the political scene. Critics have accused him of starting his own political dynasty and engaging in money politics in Sarangani—issues that he himself had raised to defeat Roy Chiongbian in the 2010 congressional race.

In General Santos, Pacquiao has succeeded in uniting opposition forces for the first time. He and another billionaire, Rivera, are combining resources to try to overcome the well-entrenched and well-oiled political machinery of the Antoninos.

In Sarangani, Pacquiao’s foray into politics has not made a great impact on the lives of residents in terms of directly providing jobs or inviting outside capital to generate jobs. The boxer has no investment in the province; all his businesses—hotel, water refill station, fitness gym, boutique, gas station, coffee shop and radio station—are based in General Santos.

“So far, Pacquiao has not invested anything in the province,” said Gov. Miguel Dominguez, who is not running for any political position. “Except for his house and beach resort in Kiamba. I don’t consider his resort an investment as it is located in a protected marine sanctuary.”

Despite his popularity and charisma, Pacquiao failed to lure investors, local and foreign alike, to come to Sarangani, Dominguez added.

Zero corruption

In his campaign sorties, Pacquiao loves to brag that candidates under the PCM-UNA are not corrupt, that they will not steal people’s money.

His record as a public servant has no tinge of corruption as yet. In fact, he’s spending his own money to provide the needs of his constituents.

“Give them a chance and I promise they will not steal your money. If ever they do, I assure you that I will personally campaign against them in 2016 election,” Pacquiao said in Visayan during one of his sorties.

But some candidates belonging to his party have tainted track records in public service. For instance, one of his closest allies who is seeking reelection as a provincial board member, had been convicted by the Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan for his involvement in a fund scam.

A former mayor, whose stint was beset by corruption issues including the highly irregular sale of a public park in General Santos, is one of those aspiring for a seat in the city council under the PCM-UNA.

Pacquiao’s political disciples have been accusing the Custodio administration of corruption. They saw traces of irregularities in infrastructure projects like the P293-million sanitary landfill and the P44-million Plaza ng Heneral Santos.

Custodio, however, challenged them to back up their accusations with documents and file charges in court. If they cannot do so, she said, their charges are but cheap political propaganda.

“A thorough check of their background and track record would bare that they are nothing but a pot calling the kettle black. They are politicians with soiled image, not real advocates of good governance,” the mayor said.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Elections 2013 , Manny Pacquiao , Politics




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
Advertisement

News

  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  • Classmates celebrating 60th birthday among missing in ferry sinking
  • Sports

  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement