Comelec OKs Pacquiao's political party

by Aries Rufo, abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak

Posted at May 07 2009 07:22 PM | Updated as of May 08 2009 03:37 PM

He may have lost his first bout in politics in 2007, but there is no stopping boxing champ Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao from giving it another try.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set the stage for Pacquiao’s political comeback either as congressman, governor, mayor or even councilor after the poll body gave the green light for the People’s Champ Movement (PCM) political party.

The Comelec second division, chaired by Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer, approved the application of PCM as a local political party for General Santos City and Sarangani province.

“We found nothing that would disqualify from registering the petitioner as local political party and, hence, no reason to deny the registration of the petitioner,” the poll body said in its four-page resolution.

“The party fully complied with the requirements and there were no oppositors,” Ferrer told abs-cbnnews.com/Newsbreak.

Earlier, Comelec chair Jose Melo said he was convinced that PCM’s application would be approved as it was well-written and well-prepared.

With the go-signal, Pacquiao can now scout for candidates that PCM intends to support or field in the May 2010 elections.

Only local races

But there is one caveat.  As a local political party, PCM can only field local candidates in Sarangani province and in General Santos City.

“If he wants to run for president, or vice-president or senator, he cannot use PCM as his political party since these are national positions,” Ferrer said. Neither can the party run as a party-list group, he added.

Based on its constitution and by-laws, the group aims to promote the economy and improve the peace and order situation in the two provinces.

The petition was filed in December 2008, three months after the party was created in General Santos City.

Among the PCM officials are: Emmanuel Pacquiao, president; Reynaldo F. Constantino Jr., executive vice-president; Raul C. Martinez, secretary general; Rogelio D. Pacquiao, treasurer; Victor James B. Yap, auditor; Atty. Minveles Beloncio-Gulle, legal counsel; Alexander Bryan B. Reganit, district 1, chairperson; Erwin A. Asgabo, district 2, chairperson and Dominador S. Lagare III, district 3, chairperson.

Pacquiao’s first brush with politics was in 2007, when he contested the congressional district of South Cotabato (First District) under the Liberal Party.

He was handily beaten by incumbent congresswoman Darlene Antonino-Custodio. Custodio got 139,061 votes over Pacquiao’s 75,908 votes.