General Santos City, – Boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao’s younger brother, Rogelio “Roel” Pacquiao, evaded a possible legal question in his bid for the province’s congressional seat in the 2016 elections.
The younger Pacquiao has decided to resign as chair of Barangay Apopong here in a bid to address questions on his residency status after filing his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) last month for congressman in Sarangani.
Ramil Rabanes Sr., top councilor of Barangay Apopong, said Wednesday Roel’s resignation was set effective last Monday, Nov. 2, based on a letter that he submitted to the council.
“He decided to resign so he can focus on his campaign for congressman of Sarangani,” he said.
Rabanes temporarily assumed on Monday as acting chair of Barangay Apopong to fill the vacancy created by Roel’s resignation.
But he said he will wait for its approval by the Department of the Interior and Local Government before fully taking over the post.
With his resignation as barangay chair, Roel has effectively vacated his post as chair of the city’s Liga ng mga Barangay and ex-officio member of the city council.
Roel, who is currently attending to a personal business in Manila, has also submitted a resignation letter to the city council.
The younger Pacquiao earlier filed his COC for Sarangani’s lone congressional seat to replace the boxing champion, who is seeking a Senate seat under Vice President Jejomar Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance.
He is running under the People’s Champ Movement (PCM), a local political party founded by Rep. Pacquiao.
Roel’s residency status came into question when he filed his COC last Oct. 12 as he was not yet a registered voter then of Sarangani.
But his application for transfer of voter registration records from this city to Alabel town in Sarangani, which officially filed only last September, was approved on Oct. 19 by the town’s election registration board.
City Councilor Franklin Gacal Jr., a PCM stalwart and close ally of the Pacquiao’s, said there was actually no need for Roel to resign as barangay chair and ex-officio member of the city council.
He said Roel is legally allowed to assume his elective positions in the city while maintaining his residence in Sarangani.
“Sarangani is his domicile of origin since the municipality of Glan is his birthplace,” said Gacal, who is a lawyer.
Before moving to this city years ago, the Pacquiao family resided in Barangay Tango in Glan, Sarangani.
“But we respect his decision. He doesn’t want this to become an issue during the campaign period so he opted to just resign,” he added./PNA|FFC|AVE