Deputy spokesman Rufus Rodriguez on Monday called on Senator Manny Pacquiao’s critics to maintain a “truce” in attacks on the boxing champion before his fight against American Errol Spence.
Rodriguez made the statement two days after Pacquiao was dismissed as chairman of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
“I call for a ceasefire in the event of attacks on our boxing icon so that he can focus on his training. He has to prepare well for his fight. There shouldn’t be anything to distract and disturb him, ”he said.
Amid power struggles in PDP-Laban, Pacquiao left the country for his August 21 boxing match against Spence in Las Vegas in early July.
Energy Minister Alfonso Cusi, previously expelled from Pacquiao, replaced the senator as party president during a meeting of the Cusi-led faction of the PDP-Laban at Clark Field in Pampanga on Saturday.
President Rodrigo Duterte has criticized Pacquiao after the senator said the current government is “three times more corrupt” than the previous one.
But Rodriguez appealed to Pacquiao’s critics to unite for the boxing champion’s victory.
“Let us all support him because he brings pride and honor to our country. We will have time for divisive politics after the fight, ”he said.
He called on both factions of the PDP-Laban to take their leadership dispute to the Electoral Commission and the Supreme Court after Pacquiao’s fight, saying, “These are the right forums to resolve this issue.”
“In the meantime, Minister Cusi should get back to our energy-related issues like the red and yellow warnings that indicate a lack of supply in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon,” he said.
Cusi has been criticized for prioritizing PDP-Laban political issues while Metro Manila and large parts of Luzon have suffered power outages.
He was also urged by the Power for People Coalition (P4P) consumer group to deal with high electricity prices, reminding him that he is paid as energy minister by the Filipino people, rather than as a PDP laban.