Poll watchers storm Pacquiao mansionBy Aquiles Z. Zonio |Inquirer Mindanao
GENERAL SANTOS CITY—Where’s the money?
Furious poll watchers on Friday stormed the mansion of the country’s richest congressman.
About 50 persons claiming to be the poll watchers of defeated congressional aspirant Rogelio “Ruel” Pacquiao, younger brother of Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, staged a protest action outside the Pacquiao Mansion 2 along Salvani Street in Barangay City Heights demanding payment for their services during the May 13 elections.
The boxer-lawmaker bankrolled the candidacy of his younger brother who lost to incumbent South Cotabato first district Rep. Pedro B. Acharon Jr. by more than 7,000 votes.
Pacquiao’s mayoral candidate, Ronnel Rivera, however, defeated incumbent Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio.
Pacquiao, who was in Manila, immediately went home to address the complaints of his poll watchers.
The poll watchers claimed they were promised P500 but they just received P200. Others even claimed they had not yet received any amount for their services during the elections.
The Inquirer tried to contact Pacquiao but he could not be reached through his mobile phone. His lawyer, Franklin Gacal Jr., was also not answering his mobile phone.
In a radio interview, Pacquiao claimed he had already released the amount intended for the poll watchers.
In the same interview, Pacquiao vowed to investigate the poll watchers’ complaints. “We will investigate what really happened that the payment has not reached them,” he said.
Pacquiao is considered the richest member of the House, with assets worth P2.02 billion, based on his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. “All these came from the blood and sweat of my boxing,” he said.