Bad internet connection hampers Pacquiao online guesting

Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 11 2022 01:00 AM

MANILA—Spotty Internet connection caused delays and technical difficulties for presidential candidate Sen. Manny Pacquiao in an online meeting with a civic group on Thursday.

Instead of a video conference, Pacquiao ended up delivering his message and interacting with participants via phone.

The Zoom session with the Rotary Club of Vigan city in Ilocos Sur — part of its “getting to know the candidates” series — was the only item on Pacquiao’s schedule that day given to campaign beat media.

After being introduced, Pacquiao was seen for a few moments on video speaking from his home office in General Santos City. 

However, the video soon froze and his audio was cut. 

The organizers played Pacquiao campaign videos as they waited for the senator’s connection to be fixed. 

After several attempts to go with video, the emcees from the Rotary Club established a phone call with him on a cellphone, put it on speaker mode and stuck it to a microphone, more than an hour since the event started.

Pacquiao proceeded to deliver a presentation of his 22-round agenda for the Philippines.

The poor audio quality of Pacquiao’s speech did not keep the participants from asking him questions afterward.

‘RESPETUHIN’

Responding to the Comelec first division’s junking of a disqualification case against fellow presidential contender Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. released earlier that day, Pacquiao said the body’s decision should be respected.

"Respetuhin din naman natin ang desisyon ng Comelec," he said.

"Panatilihin nating buhay ang trust, ang tiwala ng tao sa ating Comelec dahil doon nakatingin ang taumbayan."

He added that he remained unfazed in his push for the presidency.

"Kailangan ang commitment ay nandoon pa rin, hindi maaalis, hindi mawawala, basta tuloy ang laban ko, 100% sa ating mga Pilipino," Pacquiao said.

For other questions, Pacquiao mostly repeated what he has already said on campaign issues such as strengthening the economy, defending Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea, his opposition to same-sex marriage, and his promise to do away with crime and corruption.

"Lahat ng salita ko ay hindi pangako kundi ginagawa ko na . . . Bigyan niyo ako ng 6 na taon, ipapakita ko sa inyo kung paano si Manny Pacquiao. Lahat ng gumagawa ng krimen, korapsyon, magsasama-sama sa kulungan . . . Kung mag-compromise ka, hindi mo masusugpo ang corruption," he said.

He was also asked if he was open to giving his rivals in the presidential race government positions should he win, to which he said commitment and capability were premium whoever they were.

"Kung kaya niyang gampanan o i-accomplish ang gusto," Pacquiao said, adding: "Hindi posisyon lamang, kundi commitment."

Pacquiao added that many of the ills plaguing the country are because of a lack of morality in government, saying he would not compromise his integrity even when he lands the highest post in the country.

Pacquiao’s problems with internet service in the Mindanao region were last highlighted in December, when he was unable to cast his vote remotely in 2 Senate sessions because of lost connection. 

He said then that if he wins the presidency, he would push to improve the country’s broadband network infrastructure to address internet speeds and expand these to reach remote areas.