Senator Manny Pacquiao as a gesture of generosity bought 2000 tickets worth $1 million and gave them to his friends. He then flew in some of his friends from the government including his friend PNP Chief Bato. The question is, did Senator Pacquiao or PNP Chief Bato commit a crime?

Pacman defends PNP Chief Ronald Bato dela Rosa saying ang mga Kurakot sa gobyerno ang dapat kasuhan! twitter source

Republic Act 6713 states that “public officials and employees shall not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from any person in the course of their official duties or in connection with any operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office.”

Most people incorrectly interpret Republic Act 6713 to mean government officials should not receive gifts. Interpreting the law this way means that it would be illegal for a government official to get a birthday present at work from their spouse or children. The key phrase there is be affected by the functions of their office.

The question then to ask? Did the gift affect PNP Chief’s function of office? If the answer is yes, how come Senator Pacquiao isn’t being investigated by the Ombudsman also? Allegedly Pacquiao purchased 2000 other tickets to his boxing fight; we can presume some of the tickets were given to other government officials, why are they not being investigated also?

To prove a crime has been committed, one must prove intent. Did Senator Pacquiao intend to commit a crime? That Senator Pacquiao admitted giving the tickets and PNP Chief Bato admitted to receiving the tickets shows they have nothing to hide. What was a kind gesture by Senator Pacquiao is intentionally being misconstrued as evil to distract from more important issues?

Before jumping to conclusions, one should examine what the law states and the circumstances.