Sen. Manny Pacquiao said he did not feel alluded to when Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, a rival for the presidency, brought up candidates shelling out cash to generate crowd during motorcades and rallies.
Pacquiao, who rose to popularity due to his boxing accomplishments, said all his sorties were attended by legitimate supporters.
"Sa atin talagang wala naman tayong ibinabayad sa kanila. Masayang-masaya ang puso ko dahil all-out support sila sa akin at nakita ko kung paano ’yung pag-welcome nila sa akin. Mainit ang pagtanggap sa akin sa mga lugar na pinupuntahan namin. At ’yun ay hindi hakot at ’yun ay hindi binayaran, " Pacquiao said.
(For me, we do not pay them. My heart is full because of their all-out support for me and how they welcomed me. We were warmly received in places we visited. They weren't paid supporters.)
He added that giving money to recruit people to join motorcades was different from his dole-outs in poor communities, saying recipients were pre-selected to ensure that they were truly in need.
"Kung ano man ’yung pinamimigay natin ay ipinagpapatuloy ko na lang ’yung ginagawa ko mula pa noon . . . 'yung pagbibigay ng ayuda, ’yung pagtulong sa mga kababayan natin na nahihirapan".
(The cash donations are something I have been doing ever since to help the poor and the needy.)
Moreno recently bashed candidates allegedly incentivizing people who attend their motorcades and political rallies.