Corruption during pandemic? Don’t blame it all on Duterte – Pacquiao
MANILA, Philippines— Investigate all alleged irregularities during the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic but don’t put all the blame on President Rodrigo Duterte.
On Monday, Senator Manny Pacquiao came to Duterte’s defense after Senator Risa Hontiveros, in a privilege speech, brought up corruption allegations being committed amid the pandemic.
“Sabi nga ng World Bank, panahon ng pandemya, mas madaling mangurakot ng pera. Kung may ebidensya ng overpricing, kung may ebidensya ng pagsasamantala, kailangan panagutin,” Hontiveros said,
(According to World Bank, it’s easier to steal money during the pandemic. If there is evidence of overpricing, if there is evidence of abuse, then hold them accountable)
“Likewise, incompetence should also not be tolerated. The people need confidence in [their] leaders to shepherd them through uncertain times. They do not need a PhilHealth scandal. They do not need inept DOH leadership. They do not (need) the highest officials of the land claiming to be inutile in the middle of a pandemic,” she said.
And while being interpellated by Pacquiao after her speech, Hontiveros reiterated the need to investigate and expose those who make money from the pandemic such as the alleged overpricing of COVID-19 health supplies.
At this point, Pacquiao agreed that such irregularities must be investigated, saying it would be “unfair” to blame the President for any alleged wrongdoings of his officials.
“I agree with that na kailangang imbestigahan kasi unfair to the President who might not know the situation…what’s happening on the ground right now, especially lahat ng mga ginagawa ng mga tauhan nya,” he said.
“So kelangan siguro nating imbestigahan pero hindi siguro natin kailangan na i blame lahat sa ating Pangulo kundi aksyunan, ipaalam natin sa Pangulo dahil alam ko Mr. President, kilala ko ang ating mahal na Pangulo, ako na mismo magsabi sa inyo, kilala ko ang ating mahal na pangulo, mula pa noon bago sya naging Presidente.”
( So I think we need to investigate but we should not put all the blame on the President, let’s act on it instead, inform the President because I know the President even before he became president.)
Pacquiao assured the public that Duterte would not condone any wrongdoings as he treats corruption allegations in the same level of illegal drugs. [ac]
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