QUEZON CITY, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Exactly one month before Filipino voters will judge him on his bid to become a senator, Manny Pacquiao will be judged inside the boxing ring in Las Vegas. Pacquiao will face Timothy Bradley, Jr., for the third time for the welterweight title.
Bradley defeated Pacquiao in a controversial split decision in 2012, while Pacquiao defeated Bradley in a unanimous decision two years later.
As usual, a big controversy is brewing — not in the boxing ring, but in the Philippine political circus, we mean circuit.
The Philippine Commission on Elections (COMELEC) which oversees the election and campaign process, is reportedly considering to disqualify Pacquiao from the senatorial race because of campaign violations.
COMELEC limits campaign spending and ensures equal opportunity among all candidates in as far as media exposure is concerned. The electoral body accuses Pacquiao of both violations.
“By engaging in a televised fight on April 9, Pacquiao is at a tremendous and unfair advantage over his senatorial rivals because of the media exposure that will resuilt from the match to be held at MGM Grand,” COMELEC Chairman Andres Bautista said.
Bautista added that Pacquiao usually spends millions of dollars whenever he has a fight, especially abroad. Pacquiao is known to charter an entire commercial plane to bring his entourage, media and fans to watch him fight. “That would be in violation of the campaign spending limits,” Bautista said.
The COMELEC said Pacquiao has one of two options: quit the boxing match with Bradley, or quit the senatorial race.
Philippine elections will be held on May 9 this year.