Manny Pacquiao has another legal issue in the Philippines following charges of tax evasion. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Less than a week after criminal charges were filed against Manny Pacquiao for tax evasion in the Philippines, the Filipino superstar has now been accused of housing a fugitive, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Pacquiao’s other brush with the headlines revolves around controversial Filipino figure and former head of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group, Mohammad "Bong" Akia. Akia, it is claimed, was last seen on a flight from Manila to General Santos City with Pacquiao several weeks ago.
In an article for Minda News, journalist Edwin Espejo cited sources claiming Akia had taken refuge in Pacquiao’s luxury residence while being hunted by police investigating his alleged sale of a stolen vehicle, one of 26 cars retrieved by police. Akia was allegedly driven to Pacquiao’s residence, where he has supposedly stayed.
Pacquiao responded by starting a libel action against the journalist - although Espejo has been publicly backed by the Philippines’ leading media and civil rights group.
Pacquiao faces Timothy Bradley on June 9 in Las Vegas on HBO pay-per-view, and I think maybe this time we have legitimate reasons to think he may be distracted.
His political career has never been a real factor in his fighting career, but that makes for a good story. None of this makes for a good story, so I doubt anyone pushes the "Manny's distracted due to tax charges and accusations of housing a fugitive" story for "24/7." Or maybe they will. What do I know? Maybe we'll get a big Manny Pacquiao heel turn and he'll start wearing black shirts so that we know he's bad.
I don't really have a lot to say about this. I assume comments stay open for two hours before it becomes a battle over whose accused crimes are worse, which I guess is the new hot topic since Manny and Floyd won't actually fight.