Comelec won’t stop broadcast of Pacquiao fight

Paterno Esmaquel II
Comelec won’t stop broadcast of Pacquiao fight
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista explains that there is no 'justiciable controversy' in Pacquiao's case because the fight has not happened

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday, March 29, said it has decided not to stop the broadcast of senatorial candidate Manny Pacquiao’s boxing match on April 9.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said this was a unanimous decision by the poll body.

Bautista explained that there is no “justiciable controversy” in the case of the Sarangani representative because the fight has not happpened.

He also said there “was really no formal complaint that was filed in accordance with Comelec rules and procedures.”

Senatorial candidate Walden Bello, one of the two complainants, for instance only urged the poll body to decide if Pacquiao’s upcoming match will violate election rules. He did not file a disqualification petition.

Asked if the Comelec will allow the fight the go on April 9, Bautista said: “That is not really within our control. But we are not in a position right now to stop it because of the 3 things that we just mentioned.”

He was referring to the 3 reasons he cited – that there was no formal complaint, the fight has not happened, and there is no “justiciable controversy” in Pacquiao’s case.

Bautista said the Comelec, in effect, is technically not allowing Pacquiao’s fight but was only not acting on complaints against him.

This comes after former party-list representative Bello and former senator Rene Saguisag questioned Pacquiao’s upcoming boxing match before the Comelec.

Bello and Saguisag said Pacquiao’s match with Timothy Bradley Jr on April 9, exactly a month before the Philippine elections, will give him an unfair advantage over other candidates. – 

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at