MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque called Senator Manny Pacquaio’s recent statements about the alleged corruption in the government as ‘politicking’, knowing that the senator is running for a key position in the 2022 national elections.
Roque added that such a move is a “wrong strategy” on the part of Pacquiao for the upcoming polls.
“Politika po iyan. Alam naman nating lahat na gustong tumakbong presidente ni Pacquiao. Sa akin po hindi tamang istratehiya iyan,” the Palace spokesman said during Thursday’s (July 1) press briefing in Iloilo City.
Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte is waiting for Pacquiao to provide the Palace a list of government agencies he claims as corrupt, one of which is the Department of Health (DOH).
“Inaantay ni presidente ang listahan [niya] ng mga corrupt na ahensya ng gobyerno. Bagaman ang isa sa sinasabi niya sa mga ahensya na iyon ay DOH, iyan naman po ay naimbestigahan ng mabuti ng senado. So wala pong bago,” Roque said referring to Pacquiao.
The boxer senator recently named the DOH as among the top corrupt government offices in the country.
He cited as example the agency’s purchases made for personal protective equipment (PPE) and overpriced test kits during the early days of the country’s fight against COVID-19.
As for the 2022 elections, Roque said Duterte has been pondering who to endorse for the presidential race.
He said Duterte might choose among three contenders, one of whom was Pacquiao.