by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Manny Pacquiao’s lawyer, Atty. Franklin “Jeng” Gacal who won a council seat in General Santos City in the recent elections is checking into the allegations by poll watchers of Pacquiao’s brother Rogelio who was defeated by South Cotabato first district re-electionist and former Mayor, Pedro Acharon Jr, that they hadn’t been paid or that some received less than what was promised them.
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Pacquiao flew to GenSan immediately after he received reports that angry poll watchers had gathered outside Pacquiao’s mansion to protest the non-payment of their allowances.
Poll watchers claimed they were promised P500 but some allegedly received only P200 while others were not paid at all.
Gacal told us the money for brother Rogelio Pacquiao’s poll watchers had been released well before election day and that Pacquiao himself had vowed to get to the bottom of the anomaly.
Gacal said he was not involved in the operations of the campaign headquarters since he himself was running for councilor in GenSan. However both he and Koncz have promised to get to the bottom of this incident which they claimed unfairly damaged the reputation of the re-elected congressman who won unopposed and much of the charitable work he has done and the causes he has supported.
The poll watchers story broke even as the CNN Freedom Project documentary. “The Fighters” which was recently telecast on CNN International became available online in its entirety.
Two years in the making, CNN had exclusive access to the “Fighter of the Decade” and re-elected congressman Pacquiao and activist Celia Flores-Oebanda following their dramatic battle against sex slavery as they try to save the children of the Philippines who have become victims of human trafficking.
The reportedly unpaid poll watchers amount is considered a pittance compared to Pacquiao’s listed assets of just over P2 billion but is not considered unusual since some unscrupulous individuals in Team Pacquiao and its fringes have been known to have misappropriated much larger sums of money in the past.