MANILA, Philippines – Sarangani Rep. and boxing champ Manny Pacquiao does not hold a green card from the United States, according to his lawyer, Atty. Tranquil Salvador.
Salvador was responding to a post by blogger Raissa Robles, who questioned if Pacquiao held a green card, which would have disqualified him from running for office in the Philippines.
“No. He is not a green card holder,” Salvador said in a text message to ABS-CBNnews.com on Monday. “He cannot hold public office, specifically a congressional seat, if he is a green card holder.”
Robles cited the website of Wilner & O’Reilley, a California law firm specializing in immigration, that announced in a March 2005 post that they had been hired by Pacquiao as his “immigration counsel.”
Another post on the firm’s website in 2009 said Pacquiao was a “successful immigrant.”
Robles said if Pacquiao acquired a green card in 2009, that should have disqualified him from running for office in the 2010 elections, and for re-election earlier this year, “unless he had first waived his permanent residency or immigrant status to the U.S.”