The upcoming Pacquiao-Bradley 3 might not be aired in the Philippines due to existing rules being implemented during election year. This is because the said fight will happen on April 9, 2016, which is still covered by the election campaign period set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec). Incidentally, this is the last fight for Congressman Manny Pacquiao.
Last February 18, former Akbayan party-list representative Walden Bello told Karen Davila in an interview that Manny Pacquiao could be violating Fair Elections Act if his third fight against Timothy Bradley will fall on the said date. According to him, the Philippine coverage of the fight is a free exposure for the Pambansang Kamao as a senatorial candidate in the 2016 elections.
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“I think that Manny is facing a number of problems, not only his remarks but he can’t have this fight on April 9. This is against the [Comelec] rules. We’re asking him at this point to postpone his fight because otherwise, he’ll be disqualified.” Bello said, suggesting that Pacquiao should reschedule the fight after the election so it will not serve as an illegal political advertisement.
Bello, who is also running for senator, formally filed a petition against Pacquiao before the Comelec this Monday, February 22. The former lawmaker said that the publicity for the pre-fight, the fight itself and the post-fight will give Pacquiao will be unfair to other senatoriables, and that it is against Resolution No. 10049, or the rules and regulations for the May 9 elections.
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Apparently, a similar issue was raised by then-election lawyer Sixto Brillantes back in 2007 when Manny Pacquiao ran for congressman of the first district of South Cotabato but he lost. He fought against Jorge Solis on April 14, 2007 and won. Comelec allowed the fight to be aired on national TV in the whole country, but a ‘partial restriction’ was imposed in South Cotabato.
This Monday, February 29 Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said that the issue today is totally different simply because Pacquiao is now for running for senator, which is a national position. He said that the Comelec en banc will discuss this issue this Tuesday to clarify the election rules, and will decide if the Pacquiao vs Bradley 3 should be aired locally or not.
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