MANILA, Philippines—Senator Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday (June 29) accepted the challenge of President Rodrigo Duterte to name government agencies and offices involved in corruption.
In a statement, Pacquiao said the President himself stated back in October 27, 2020 that corruption in the country has worsened and that he will concentrate the last remaining years of his term to fight corruption. The Senator said he feels the same way.
“Tinatanggap ko ang hamon ng Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. Salamat po at binigyan niyo kami ng pagkakataon na tumulong sa inyo at bigyan kayo ng mga impormasyon para kampanya kontra korapsyon,” he said.
(I accept the challenge of President Rodrigo Duterte. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to help and to provide you with information for the campaign against corruption.)
During his public address on Monday evening (June 28), Duterte called out Pacquiao over his claims that the current administration is “two times” more corrupt than the previous administration. He then challenged Pacquiao to name the government offices involved in corruption.
“Ituro mo ang opisina na corrupt at ako na ang bahala. Within one week, may gawin ako. Maglista ka, Pacquiao, at sinasabi mong two times kaming mas corrupt. Ilista mo iyong mga tao at opisina. Dapat inilista mo na iyan noon, at ibigay mo sa akin,” he said.
(Within one week, I will do something. Make a list, Pacquiao. You said [the government] is twice as corrupt. List the individuals and offices. You should have listed it before, and sent it to me.)
“If you fail to do that, I will campaign against you because you are not doing your duty. I will just tell the people, ‘Do not vote for Pacquiao because he is a liar’.” Duterte added.
Pacquiao, in his statement, reiterated that he is not a liar and suggested looking into the Department of Health (DOH) regarding its procurement of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other medical equipment.
“Magsimula tayo sa DOH. Silipin at busisiin natin lahat ng mga binili mula sa rapid test kits, PPE , masks at iba pa. Handa ka ba Sec. Francisco Duque na ipakita ang kabuuan ng iyong ginagastos? Saan napunta ang pera na inutang natin para sa pandemya?” Pacquiao asked.
(Let us start with the DOH. We should review all the procured items from rapid test kits, PPEs, masks and others. Is Secretary Francisco Duque prepared to show everything? What happened to the money we borrowed for the pandemic?)
The senator also lamented that there is a disagreement between him and the President when the country needs leaders who would band together to solve corruption. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)