Nothing wrong with Pacquiao giving away cash before 2022 campaign period: Lacson

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 15 2021 10:31 AM

MANILA - Partido Reporma standard bearer Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Monday said presidential contender Sen. Manny Pacquiao should not be castigated for handing out money to the public since the boxer has been doing this for a long time and because the official campaign period has not yet started.

The money Pacquiao has been giving away came from his earnings from boxing so the public shouldn’t meddle with that, Lacson told ANC’s Headstart.

“Kung ganun ang paraan niya para makiramay sa mga tao, we should appreciate it,” he said.

(If that’s his way of commiserating with the people, we should appreciate it.)

“Ako somehow, a part of me, parang nakikisimpatiya sa kaniya kasi hindi naman infinite yung pera niya (sympathizes with him because his money is not infinite),” he said.

Unlike other politicians who only surface during election season, Pacquiao has been sharing his wealth with the poor even before he became a politician, Lacson said.

“What’s the difference between Sen. Manny distributing part nung kinita niya sa boxing now at ‘yung binibigay niya years ago?” he said.

(What’s the difference between Sen. Manny distributing part of his boxing earnings now and years ago?)

“Ang mga tao they should see through the gestures bakit namimigay… Dapat maging discerning kung unusual ‘yung ginagawa ng isang kandidato,” he said.

(The people should see through the gestures why politicians hand out money…. They should be more discerning if a candidate is showing some unusual behavior.)

But the Partido Reporma chair underscored that it would be a different issue if the world boxing icon would continue handing out money when the official campaign period starts in February.

“Kung campaign period namimigay, may vote buying aspect na yun,” he said.

(There is a vote buying aspect already if he does that during the campaign period.)

Under the law, those who have filed their certificates of candidacies are not considered as official candidates before the official campaign period begins about 3 months before election day.

Lacson said he is not in favor of encouraging voters to accept bribes from politicians even if they would vote according to their conscience.

“Mali. Tinuturuan natin ‘yung mga tao to take advantage (That’s wrong. We are teaching people to take advantage),” he said.

“Kahit sabihin na take the money but don’t vote, may mali din sa ganun… Pag-aralan na lang ng mga botante ‘yung issue.”

(There is still something wrong even if you tell them to take the money but don’t vote… The voters should just study the issues.)

Vice President Leni Robredo, who is also running for president, earlier drew flak for encouraging voters to accept cash from politicians but refrain from voting these people.

Robredo eventually clarified that she is not condoning vote buying after a Commission on Elections official said that he does not agree with “the notion of taking the money and voting according to your conscience."