Pacquiao wants probe into leaked Barangay Dasmariñas letter

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Manny Pacquiao wants an investigation into the leaked letter he received from Barangay Dasmariñas, citing his right to privacy.

In a letter addressed to Barangay Dasmariñas chief Rossana Hwang, Pacquiao on Saturday, March 28, asked her to "refrain from making assertions" based on "unverified news items and malicious social media posts."

"It has come to my attention that your letter has been subject of several news reports and malicious social media posts. In this regard, I wish to know how this private letter addressed to me went around social media with total disregard to my right to privacy," Pacquiao said in his letter, which used his Senate office's stationery.

"[In the] meantime, I will refer this matter to the appropriate agency for proper investigation to avoid the same incident from happening," he added.

A copy of Pacquiao's letter to the village chief was sent to reporters on Saturday.

On Friday, March 27, Hwang wrote  Pacquiao telling him that no one in his household can come out. The village offered to buy their household essentials for them.

Pacquiao appealed to Hwang to allow at least a member of his household to do the purchasing. (READ: Pacquiao quarantines before receiving village memo)

"With all due respect, may you also please allow a member of my household to go out or buy or do essentials pursuant to IATF guidelines? Accordingly, kindly have the appropriate home quarantine pass delivered to my residence," he said.

In his March 28 letter, Pacquiao contested Hwang's assumption on the party, after a picture of him and Pimentel in his house were "seen partying together went viral."

"This event happened on March 4, 2020. I am sure our Dasmariñas Village guards have records of this if only proper verification was made. Let me also emphasize that it was not 'partying' as stated in your letter. It was a political meeting. The word 'partying' casts me as someone insensitive to the current crisis of the nation," he said.

The March 4 meeting was part of the initial fellowship of 50 PDP-Laban members in the House of Representatives, after the squabble in the House speaker term-sharing was reignited. It was attended by party stalwarts, including Pimentel, Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, and party Spokesperson and House Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel.

Videos and photos from the PDP-Laban meeting on March 4 had gone viral, after party president and Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel had tested positive for the virus

Rappler had tried to reach out to Barangay Dasmariñas for comment. But the village's security office asked Rappler to call on Sunday, March 29, instead. The office of the Barangay Administrator also did not answer follow-up calls after Rappler asked for Hwang's reaction to the letter. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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