Pacquiao's cash distribution may stink, but not illegal yet - Jimenez | Inquirer News
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Pacquiao’s cash distribution may stink, but not illegal yet – Jimenez

/ 04:22 PM October 28, 2021
Pacquiao's cash distribution stinks, but not illegal yet - Jimenez

Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao/Screengrab, Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Though Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s habit of handing out cash aid may be “wrong,” it is not yet illegal since the official campaign season hasn’t begun yet, Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez said on Thursday.

“We see something wrong with that obviously, in the sense that you know that it’s gonna impact how people think about elections, how people are gonna decide,” Jimenez said over CNN Philippines when asked if he thinks there is something wrong with Pacquiao’s inveterate habit of distributing cash, which the senator said he has been doing since 2002.

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READ: Pacquiao: Critics who cry vote-buying simply envy my unwavering generosity

“Under the law, there’s not anything we can do about it because again, it’s still not against the law,” Jimenez added. “Wala pa yan, hindi pa ‘yan vote-buying eh (it could not yet be considered as vote buying).”

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The boxer-turned-politician fired back at accusations of vote-buying, saying that the money he gives away comes from his own deep pocket.

“Tuloy lang ako hangga’t hindi bawal dahil ginagawa ko naman ‘yon noon,” Pacquiao said of his cash distribution activities.

(I will continue until they tell me not to since I’ve been doing this for a long time.)

Jimenez said it could only be considered vote-buying if a candidate began handing out financial aid in February, which is the beginning of the campaign season for the 2022 elections.

“Well, if they do it then (during campaign season), then yes, that would be vote-buying, absolutely,” Jimenez said.

However, Jimenez said a politician’s generosity needs to be verified according to due process to be investigated as vote-buying.

“Candidates really have a lot of defenses available to them and they will say that, and they have, in fact, said that before. Pag ginawa nila yan, pag namigay sila ng pera, (when they give out cash) during the campaign period, that will really be considered as vote-buying, but it will have to be proven,” Jimenez continued.

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TAGS: #VotePH2022, Commission on Elections, James Jimenez, Manny Pacquiao
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