MANNY Pacquiao is faced with another setback in his major battle in the political arena as his camp is now hurrying to correct campaign materials that bore the wrong election number for the senatorial aspirant.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) recently pruned down the official list of candidates and has consequently re-assigned Pacquiao the candidate No. 36, which is the same entry the voters will shade on their PCOS (Precinct-Count Optical Scanners) ballots come the May 9 elections.
Pacquiao used to be candidate No. 41 on the initial Comelec list.
Unfortunately, Pacquiao's chief of staff Kit Mercado told SPIN.ph more than 100,000 campaign shirts, caps, posters and tarpaulins that tag the Sarangani Congressman as senatorial bet No. 41 have already been distributed, particularly around the Mindanao area.
Obviously, Pacquiao's camp has produced campaign materials bearing the No. 41 even before the Comelec could release the official and final list of candidates.
"Yun ang nangyari. May ibang supporters si Cong. Manny na nag pre-produce na ng materials bearing the wrong candidates number. So problema talaga 'yun for us kasi it will create confusion," said Mercado.
"Remember that the elections is now digital so malaki mawawala kay Cong Manny if 'yung maling candidates number ang ma-she-shade ng voters niya instead of the now official na No. 36," she added.
The Comelec has disqualified five senatoriables whose surnames come ahead of Pacquiao in the list, namely Efren Cadiz, Mary Lou Estrada, Amay Bisaya, Sixto Lagare and Gion Gounet.
To address the problem, Pacquiao's campaign staffers are now working doubly hard to recall the erroneous materials and at the same time created their official Facebook page: PacquiaoForSenatorMovement
"We have doubled up in our efforts to retrieve the wrong campaign materials tapos yung Facebook page namin and social media team are now very active in the information dissemination," said Mercado.
Team Pacquiao has also released a video reiterating the No. 36 entry number of Pacquiao in the senatorial ballot.
See Pacquiao's campaign video:
"Sayang kasi ang boto ni Cong Manny if mapupunta sa iba yung boto sa kanya just because of the confusion," Mercado said, adding that former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla is now the one occupying the No. 41 slot.
While the campaign season is in full swing, Pacquiao is in the US preparing for his farewell fight against Timothy Bradley on April 9 (April 10, Manila time).
The eight division world boxing champion, whose agenda is to uplift the lives of the poor and increase the salaries of teachers, will immediately plunge into campaign sorties as soon as he arrives in the country on April 14.