MANILA, Philippines — Investigations are already ongoing on the departments mentioned by Senator Manny Pacquiao to be allegedly involved in corruption, according to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).
During a public briefing on Monday (July 5), PACC Chairperson Greco Belgica said they are aware of the corruption allegations against government agencies that Pacquiao mentioned, which include the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Belgica, however, said Pacquiao also has new allegations against other agencies which the PACC would also want to investigate.
Belgica said the PACC will review the documents that the Senator sent to their office for further investigation. Pacquiao’s allegations are still not conclusive and would need more investigation and evidence, Belgica added.
“Medyo hilaw po para mag-conclude na mayroon talagang corruption dahil una, iauudit pa iyan. Tsaka mo ide-determine kung sino ang probable na may liability. Tapos kapag na-determine mo na through investigation, tsaka mo pa lang masasabi na mayroon violation dito na pwede mong sampahan at parusahan ang mga accountable officers,” he said.
(It is still early to conclude that there is corruption. Firstly, because there is still a need to audit before determining who has probable liability. Once it is determined through investigation then we can say there is a violation and you can file charges or impose punishment on accountable officers.)
The PACC official also said that it is important to coordinate with Pacquiao regarding the documents to determine which issues are already investigated or not.
Regarding the DSWD’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP), the PACC said there are several cases to look into. He said the senator should specify the allegations he wants to investigate as well as provide enough evidence to prove his allegations.
“Malawak po ang SAP, mayroong issue na hindi nabigyan, mayroon issue na nadoble ang nabigyan, may issue diyan na patay na [ang beneficiary]. May issue rin sa Starpay. So ano doon, or mayroon ba siyang bago dahil iyong mga binanggit ko, iniimbestigahan na po namin iyon,” according to Belgica.
(SAP [issues] have a large scope. There is an issue of unpaid SAP, beneficiaries who received double, about beneficiaries who are already deceased. There is also an issue with Starpay. So does the senator have anything new apart from what I mentioned because we are already investigating it.)
“Number 1 the burden of proof resides with him, siya dapat magpatunay sa kaniyang mga alegasyon ng corruption (he should be the one proving his corruption allegations),” Belgica said.
Pacquiao previously claimed that several government departments are involved in corruption.
The senator named these department agencies in his presentation during a briefing on Saturday (July 3) after President Rodrigo Duterte challenged him to prove his claims. -AAC