Manny Pacquiao is coming under fire once again, but this time it isn't due to any incendiary comments he's made, but rather because at least one other political candidate in the Philippines demands an even playing field during election season.
Walden Bello, a senatorial candidate in the May 9th Philippine elections, has officially petitioned the Commission on Elections saying that allowing Manny Pacquiao to fight during the campaign season violates the Fair Elections Act, ensuring that every candidate gets equal media access, and prohibiting TV and radio programs from favoring a particular candidate. Therefore, Bello wants Pacquiao's fight postponed until after the election period.
"I imagine if they rule in our favor, which I believe they will, then they will have to tell Manny that he would have to comply with it," Bello said, adding that if Pacquiao refuses to comply, disqualification from the election could be a logical outcome.
"He has all the rights to exercise his boxing profession after the elections, but to schedule his boxing bout during the campaign period and close to the elections is obviously taking advantage of his personality and his profession, extending undue benefit to his candidacy," the petition said.
Pacquiao has served on the Philippines' House of Representatives since 2010 but has received criticism for rarely appearing for legislative duties. So far there is no word on when the Commission on Elections will make a ruling on this issue.