President Rodrigo Duterte, on Monday night, again criticized Senator Manny Pacquiao, calling him a “punch-drunk” after the boxing champ alleged P10 billion in government funds were lost to corruption.
“I think he is talking about P10 billion from nowhere… Papayag ba naman ako? Papayag ba kami? Mga secretary ng departamento na ganoon na may mawala na P10 billion?” Duterte said in his weekly address to the nation.
“That is a statement coming from a guy that is punch-drunk, lasing,” the president added.
Pacquiao headed to America to prepare for his fight against Errol Spence, held in Las Vegas on August 22.
Due to the alleged missing funds, 1.3 million beneficiaries did not receive assistance during the pandemic.
Pacquiao also questioned the use of the Starpay e-wallet in SAP distribution.
The purpose of using the service for the distribution of aid is good. But he said the problem is that it has been infiltrated by corruption.
Duterte calls Pacquiao ‘punch-drunk’ over corruption allegations
Pacquiao also denied that he was politicizing the situation in the face of the upcoming election.
He said this has nothing to do with whatever his political plans are next year, and he also insisted that he is not trying to anger Duterte.
Duterte claimed that Pacquiao’s alleged tax liability allegedly amounted to P2.2 billion at the PDP-Laban meeting.
“I do not talk about the others… Ito lang si Pacquiao because out of the blue he blurted out na corrupt, so I am forced to… By the way, mayroon akong… I remember he has a tax evasion case,” said Duterte.
“He has been assessed to pay P2.2 billion ang utang niya na hindi niya nabayaran [buwis] ang gobyerno,” he added.
But in 2018, Pacquiao got a favorable decision in the Court of Tax Appeals regarding the P2.2 billion tax assessment.