MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will continue with its tradition of airing the live bouts of eight-division boxing champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.
This was disclosed by AFP public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato Thursday.
“(In) General Headquarters, particularly in Camp Aguinaldo (Quezon City), we will have free-showing of the match between Timothy Bradley and Pacquiao (this coming April 10),” he confirmed.
This is the third time the American boxer will facing the Filipino boxer. In their first meeting in June 9, 2012, Bradley eked out a controversial split decision win.
In their second meeting in April 12, 2014, Pacquiao earned a unanimous decision victory against the American boxer.
Detoyato said that it is customary for military personnel and their dependents to watch Pacquiao bouts in camps all over the country.
He added that together with basketball, boxing is the sports most loved by Filipino service personnel.
And despite the latter’s third fight against Bradley falling on election season, the AFP public affairs office chief sees no political color on the sporting event.
“Whom they will vote is their individual and a sacred choice,” Detoyato said when asked whether could have the effect of soldiers casting their ballots for Pacquiao during the May 9 elections.
The latter is running for senator under the United Nationalist Alliance party headed by Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay.
The Commission on Election (COMELEC) earlier made a unanimous decision that it is not within its power to stop the telecast of the Pacquiao-Bradley tiff.
“That is not within our control. We are not in a position right now to stop it because of the three parameters that we found,” COMELEC chair Andres Bautista said.
He added that “there was really no formal complaint that was filed in accordance with COMELEC rules and procedures.”
Bautista also added the fight had not occurred yet.
“It’s still contingent. There is a possibility of it happening, but it has not happened yet,” he said.
Bautista said the COMELEC believes that there is no “justiciable controversy” to rule against Pacquiao to proceed with the airing of the fight.
“Courts are not supposed to rule on hypothetical or contingent possibility. We are supposed to rule on actual controversy involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable,” he said.
Former AKBAYAN party-list representative Walden Bello and former senator Rene Saguisag had asked the Comelec to determine if the telecast of the Pacquiao-Bradley bout would violate election laws, noting that the Sarangani representative is also running for senator in the May 9 polls.
They complained that the international and local media coverage of the fight would give Pacquiao undue advantage over other senatorial candidates. PNA/northboundasia.com