Manny Pacquiao is caught on fire once again, even if his ongoing controversy regarding his snide remarks on same-sex marriage has not yet died down. But this is a completely different story.
Fellow senatorial candidate and former lawmaker Walden Bello is urging the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to look into the boxer’s upcoming April fight against Timothy Bradley on whether it violates election guidelines.
Bello clarified that his plea is “not a disqualification petition,” but wants COMELEC to “make a decision” since the anticipated boxing fight may interfere with the limits set on candidates’ publicity.
COMELEC Chair Andress Bautista said that Pacquiao’s promotion of his upcoming fight in Las Vegas is a grey area, since the cap on airtime ads for candidates has already started. According to COMELEC guidelines, national candidates are allowed to only up to 120 minutes per TV station and 180 minutes per radio station. The boxing match may go up to 2 hours, not including pre-fight commentaries.
A COMELEC resolution also requires media people running for office to “take a leave of absence from work as such during the campaign period.”
Bello on the other hand wishes for Pacquiao to run.