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Universe ‘owner’ facing libel raps

Pacquiao said Quiboloy used his power and influence to spread fake news against him

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In filing a P100 million libel suit against self-proclaimed “Son of God” Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, boxer-lawmaker Manny Pacquiao acknowledged his nemesis’ “power and influence” over mere mortals.

Senator Pacquiao on Tuesday trooped to the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office to allege that Quiboloy has besmirched his reputation by claiming a still unfinished sports complex in his home province was overpriced at P3.5 billion.

“May God forgive me, but he is not a true pastor because he makes fabricated stories. The video they showed was a building that existed when I was young, in 1996,” Pacquiao said in Filipino.

The building that Quiboloy showed in his show — a dilapidated structure — was actually the old Sarangani Province Sports Complex already existing decades back, Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao averred that the new Sarangani Sports Complex yet to be finished would only amount from P300 million to P500 million.

In his 13-page complaint, the boxer said Quiboloy, who heads the religious group Kingdom of Jesus Christ, used “his power and influence to spread fake news and information” against him.

Pacquiao is being touted by his fellow senator, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III as a potential candidate for president in next year’s elections.

“He used this deliberate falsehood to brainwash the minds of the Filipino public, recklessly propagating lies to blacken the image and reputation of an honest public servant,” Pacquiao said, adding that Quiboloy’s statements are “criminal in nature and cannot go unpunished.”

In July, Quiboloy said that Pacquiao misused public funds on the sports complex. The boxer before that slammed the government as “three times more corrupt” than its predecessors.

Pacquiao served as congressman of Saranggani from 2010 to 2016. He defended his allegation of corruption against the government by saying he has documents and information from whistleblowers.

Before leaving for the United States in July for a boxing match he lost to Ungas, Pacquiao claimed assistance to people affected by the pandemic and lockdowns had been misappropriated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

He also claimed various irregularities at the health and energy departments.

with Alvin Murcia

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