Rep. Pacquiao casts vote; expects ‘big win’ for PCM-UNA bets

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/13 May) — Boxing sensation and re-electionist Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel Pacquiao has expressed confidence of a big win by his own party People’s Champ Movement (PCM) here and in Sarangani Province as he cast his votes in Kiamba town at around 10 a.m. today.

Wearing a white printed tee-shirt and jeans, Pacquiao arrived at around 9:50 a.m. at Kiamba Central Elementary School along with his wife Jinkee and immediately proceeded to clustered precinct number 01 to make his vote.

Pacquiao, who is running unopposed for his second term at the House of Representatives, is a registered voter of precinct number 0004B of Poblacion, Kiamba, which is the hometown of his wife Jinkee.

“Okay naman lahat, maganda ang takbo ng botohan at di magulo (Everthing is fine, the voting is running smoothly and the process is not disorderly),” he said in an interview by ABS-CBN after emerging from the polling precinct 15 minutes later.

Pacquiao, who later accompanied Jinkee to also cast her vote at the Kitagas Elementary School in Barangay Katubao in Kiamba, said he expects a big win for his wife and other stalwarts of the PCM in the area.

Jinkee, who is registered under precinct number 0077A in Barangay Katubao of Kiamba, is seeking the vice gubernatorial post.

PCM’s gubernatorial bet, incumbent Sarangani Vice Gov. Steve Chiongbian-Solon is running unopposed.

PCM, which has tied up with the United National Alliance (UNA), has fielded the boxing icon’s brother, Barangay Apopong chair Rogelio, as candidate for the first congressional district seat of South Cotabato.

South Cotabato’s first district covers this city and the municipalities of Tampakan, Tupi and Polomolok.

In this city, PCM-UNA fielded top councilor Ronnel Rivera to challenge incumbent Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio of the administration-backed Liberal Party Achiever’s with Integrity Movement (LP-AIM).

Bloc-voting Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) endorsed over the weekend the candidacies of Pacquiao and other PCM-UNA candidates.

Among those endorsed by the INC were Jinkee, Rogelio, Rivera, reelectionist Vice Mayor Shirlyn Nograles and seven city council bets of PCM-UNA.

The religious sect picked five candidates for the city council from LP-AIM, which it backed in the 2010 elections.

Meantime, Pacquiao said the voting in other parts of the province has been also going on smoothly and with no major problems coming out so far.

He said they don’t expect any power outage in any part of the province until the voting and canvassing of votes are completed.

Pacquiao said he is banking on the promises earlier made by the National Power Corporation and other power providers that the power supplies in the area and of other parts of Mindanao will be sufficient during the conduct of the polls.

“We have not monitored any problem so far regarding our power supplies,” he said. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)