Manny Pacquiao suggests rival has accepted bribe to back fellow candidate

Philippine boxing great Manny Pacquiao has used a radio interview to question whether two of his defeated political rivals have accepted a bribe from his opponent in a run-off election for the Philippines’ president, the Manila Bulletin reports. Pacquiao has long been a critic of his rival, Sen. Grace Poe, who won the first round in May, but earned just 46 percent of the vote. The boxer-turned-politician — who’s nominated to run in the May 2019 elections — says Poe supported a measure that in part failed when former President Benigno Aquino was in office, which allows inmates at the Sarangani Correctional Center to seek political office if they renounce their criminal records. For people to win such seats, they have to donate a percentage of their vote to the governing party.

During the interview, Pacquiao asked the interviewer if it was “ludicrous” to believe Poe would accept such a donation, but the interviewer said it wasn’t known if she accepted any. Asked if it was “legally possible” to do that, Pacquiao said Poe would have to appoint three people to the government who would then have to be approved by the Senate. “If I win she is in jail,” he said. The singer and rapper turned politician is officially supporting Sen. Rodrigo Duterte, who won the race with 49 percent of the vote.

In the latest controversy to hit the nation’s election, earlier this week, director-general of the Commission on Elections Leopoldo F. Hidalgo was removed after a court ruled that he may have violated conflict of interest laws by using his job to obtain favors for himself.

Read the full story at The Manila Bulletin.

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