Pacquiao bout will give him little exposure, say lawyers
BOXING champion and senatorial candidate Manny Pacquiao has strongly indicated in a letter to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Monday that he would push through with his fight against Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas next month.
In the five-page letter, Pacquiao’s lawyers, Romulo Macalintal and Antonio Bautista, said the boxer would have a maximum of only 36 minutes of media exposure during his fight on April 9, exactly one month before the elections.
The letter was in response to former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello’s petition and former Sen. Rene Saguisag’s letter urging the Comelec to enforce its rules on campaigning by compelling Pacquiao to postpone his fight.
“If the fight lasts the 12-round distance, the maximum media exposure he will get is only 36 minutes… it could even be less than [that] if the fight ends in the first round,” Pacquiao’s lawyers said.
They did not explain their figures.
The lawyers said that Bello’s petition to the Comelec lacked merit since the law gives national candidates like Pacquiao 120-minute TV and 180-minute radio ad times per station.
“His determination to hold the event, which might be his last time to climb the ring, is not intended to give him undue or unfair advantage but it has to be done before his youth is gone to give our country and people the pride and glory they deserve,” the lawyers added.
Bello, however, dismissed the argument of Pacquiao’s lawyers, saying the fight and the hoopla around it could go on “for hours.”
“Attorney Macalintal should know better,” Bello said, “the fight, with all the preliminary hoopla will go on for at least two and half hours.”
“Then there are all the post-interviews and commentaries, which brings us up to around five hours,” he added.
Meanwhile, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. advised Pacquiao, the Sarangani representative, to defer his fight until after election day to avoid legal complications. With reports from DJ Yap and Gil Cabacungan
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