Senatorial candidate and former Akbayan party-list representative Walden Bello said world boxing champ Manny Pacquiao should postpone his fight with Timothy Bradley on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to avoid disqualification from his bid for a seat in the Senate.
"I think that Manny is facing a number of problems, not only his remarks but he can't have this fight on April 9. This is against the [Commission on Elections] rules," Bello said in his interview with Karen Davila on Mornings@ANC.
He explained that if Manny fights Bradley, he will have an ‘undue advantage’ with the media coverage not just because of the pay-per-view but also with the interviews and features he’ll have before and after the fight.
"Even before the fight, all the buildup, all the interviews, during the fight, the pay per view, which will be all through the country and then after the fight, all of that. These are tremendous advantages being given to one candidate against all the other candidates," he said.
Bello also added that he even temporarily left his job as columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer online because it’s a requirement by COMELEC’s law that those who are running for a public seat should have equal airing hours for ‘political advertisement.’
He said the same standard should be imposed on Pacquiao regarding his boxing commitments.
"There is a reason why celebrities and major personalities and commentators are told to take a leave from their work. I did, I was a commentator for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and I looked at the rules and during the lead up to the 2013 campaign, I took a leave from being a commentator. That was required of me and as a candidate I had to do that. Manny has to take a leave from being a boxer at this point with a big fight that's going on,” he told Karen.