Senator Manny Pacquiao has accepted President Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge to name government offices that would show corruption under the administration was “three times” worse than before.
Pacquiao made the statement a day after Duterte called him out for criticizing the administration for the alleged proliferation of graft.
"Tinatanggap ko ang hamon ng Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. Salamat po at binigyan nyo kami ng pagkakataon na tumulong sa inyo at bigyan kayo ng mga impormasyon para kampanya kontra korapsyon,” Pacquiao said.
[I accept the challenge of President Rodrigo Duterte. I thank him for giving me the opportunity to help him and give him information for his anti-corruption campaign.]
“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?” he added.
[Let’s start with DOH. Let us check and dig deeper on all the procurements starting with the rapid test kits PPE, masks, etc. Are you prepared, Sec. Francisco Duque, to show the entire spending of the DOH? Where did the funds that we borrowed for the pandemic response go?]
Pacquiao told Duterte that he was neither a “liar” nor “corrupt.”
“Mawalang galang po mahal na Pangulo, ngunit hindi ako sinungaling. May mga naging pagkakamali ako sa buhay na aking itinuwid at itinama nguni’t dalawang bagay ang kaya kong panghawakan. Hindi ako tiwali at hindi ako sinungaling,” he said.
[With all due respect dear president, I am not a liar. I have my own shortcomings in life, but I have corrected these. But there are two things that I am certain. I am not corrupt and I am not a liar.]
The lawmaker said it was said that he and Duterte had been arguing over corruption when it was a problem should they could work on together.
“Nakakalungkot na sa isyu ng korapsyon kami magtatalo, dahil ang kailangan ng bansa ay mga lider na magtutulungan laban dito,” he said.
[It is saddening that we are arguing over the issue of corruption because what our country needs are leaders who will work together against this.]
Pacquiao also recalled Duterte’s October 27, 2020 statement which says: "I will concentrate the last remaining years of my term fighting corruption kasi hanggang ngayon hindi humihina lumalakas pa lalo."
On Monday night, Duterte dared Pacquiao to identify the corrupt offices and he will show that he can handle the situation within a week.
"Si Pacquiao salita nang salita na three times daw tayong mas corrupt so I am challenging him, ituro mo ang opisina na corrupt at ako na ang bahala within one week may gawin ako," Duterte said.
[Pacquiao said we're three times more corrupt so I am challenging him to identify the corrupt offices and I would handle the situation within a week.]
"'Di ba ang sabi ko noon if you come to know that there is corruption, let me know? Give me the office. Ganoon ang dapat ginawa mo... Wala ka namang sinabi all these years. Puro ka praises nang praises sa'kin tapos ngayon sabihin mo corrupt," he added.
[Didn't I tell you that if you come to know that there is corruption, let me know? Give me the office. That's what you should have done... You didn't say anything all these years. You're all praises for me and then you're crying corruption.]
The President also hit Pacquiao over his promise to build homes "for everybody in six years time."
"Do not ever think that if you will win as president na wala nang corruption dito sa Pilipinas," Duterte told Pacquiao.
Duterte earlier criticized Pacquiao after the latter said the country's stance in the West Philippine Sea was lacking.
With the two highest officials of the PDP-Laban clashing, party’s executive vice chairman, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, said Pacquiao and Duterte should be allowed to settle their issues privately.
Duterte is PDP-Laban’s chairman while Pacquiao sits as the party’s acting president. —NB, GMA News