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PIA Press Release

Pacquiao arrives in GenSan; pols use other float

Manila (19 April) -- Unlike festivities in Manila City, local officials and candidates in General Santos City did not join Filipino sports icon and congressional bet Manny Pacquiao at his float during this Wednesday's victory motorcade in the boxer's hometown.

Pacquiao arrived at the General Santos airport at 8:45 a.m. on board a Philippine Airlines plane.

Upon his arrival, he spoke with his electoral rival South Cotabato Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio and General Santos Mayor Pedro Acharon at the airport's VIP lounge.

They agreed that Pacquiao would use the float prepared by the city government and not the one constructed by his supporters at the People's Champ Movement.

Pacquiao consented to this setup to avoid possible criticisms that the ticker tape parade was just a political ploy.

The city executives and Custodio tailed Pacquiao's float during the motorcade using the other float.

Pacquiao was joined by his wife Jinky, mother Dionisia, father Rosalio and brother Rogel.

In Manila a day earlier, local politicians flanked Pacquiao on board his float while their supporters handed out campaign materials to parade onlookers.

Campaign jingles blared while the the convoy made its way around Manila's busy streets.

Meanwhile, GMA News reported that local folk in General Santos cheered and smiled at Pacquiao despite the scorching noontime sun.

Custodio, a scion of the influential Antonino clan, is seeking her third consecutive term as representative of the province's first district against the popular Pacquiao.

The congresswoman gamely watched Pacquiao's conquest last Sunday over Mexican fighter Jorge Solis during a public viewing session at a gymnasium in General Santos.

She has maintained that the "people's champ" was a hero of Filipinos around the world, but has added that the electorate can be the judge of her track record in Congress. (OPS/PIA) [top]

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