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Comelec to study DQ call vs Pacquiao over Bradley fight

/ 12:14 PM February 18, 2016
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) chairman Andres Bautista. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday said that it will study further the call of an independent senatorial candidate to disqualify boxer and senatorial aspirant Manny Pacquiao from the Senate race if he will not postpone his April 9 fight with Timothy Bradley―supposedly his last fight before he hangs his boxing gloves for good.

Comelec chair Andres Bautista said that the poll body will look into the call of former Akbayan party-list representative Walden Bello who said that Pacquiao’s fight with Bradley is an election offense which should be meted out with disqualification.

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Bautista said that upon initial study, the poll body found Pacquiao’s bout as a “gray area” in the implementation of the Fair Election Act.

“Mga one month ago, naisip ko na yan kaya may inatasan akong isang abogado sa aking opisina na tingnan yung issue. Medyo gray area. Kasi sa Fair Election Act natin, kapag kandidato ka na nag-eendorso ng produkto at may billboard ka, kailangan mong tanggalin yung billboard. Pinagbabawal din yung paggawa ng documentary tungkol sa buhay ng isang tao. So ito nga, gray area siya,” Bautista said in an interview over Radyo Inquirer.

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(About a month ago, I had already thought of that, so I asked a lawyer in my office to look into the issue. It appears to be a gray area. This is beacause in our Fair Election Act, if you’re a candidate who endorses products and you have a billboard, you need to take down the billboard. Producing documentaries about the life of a person [running for office] is also prohibited. So this case is a gray area.)

He urged Bello to file a formal complaint against Pacquiao so that the Comelec can act on it.

“Kung talagang seryoso si Congressman Bello, magandang mag-file na siya ng formal complaint para matingnan talaga ng Comelec yung issue,” Bautista added.

(If Congressman Bello is serious, it would be better if he files a formal complaint so that the Comelec can look into the issue.)

On Thursday, Bello urged the Sarangani lawmaker to postpone his fight on April 9 because it can be considered as a political advertisement which is an election offense.

READ: Walden Bello to Pacquiao: Hold off Bradley bout or risk DQ

Bello said that the coverage before, during, and after the fight will give Pacquiao “tremendous advantage against other candidates in the race for the Senate.”

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“As a boxer and world class athlete, I’m sure Manny understands the concept of sportsmanship and fair play. As a senatorial candidate, he should abide by the same rules as everyone else. No one should have an undue advantage in terms of media coverage. No one should be above the law. He must reschedule this fight to after 9 May 2016,” the former congressman said in a statement.

According to the Comelec Resolution No. 10049, which provides the implementing rules and regulations for the 2016 polls, said that a “political advertisement” may “take the form of spots, appearances on TV shows and radio programs, live or taped announcements, teasers, and other forms of advertising messages or announcements used by commercial advertisers.”

Aside from facing a possible disqualification case, the Filipino boxing icon received flak over his statements directed against the lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender (LGBT) community. He compared the LGBT members as “worse than animals.”

READ: Pacquiao says gay acts ‘detestable,’ ‘insult’ to God

Celebrities and netizens slammed Pacquiao for his remarks. He has since apologized.

Pacquiao was then dropped as an endorser by Nike on Thursday over his anti-gay comments. CDG

READ: Boxing: Nike axes Pacquiao over gay slurs – official

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TAGS: candidate, Comelec, Commission on Elections, disqualification, Elections 2016, Manny Pacquiao, match, Senate, Waldeb Bello
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