Pacquiao: Duterte wrong for defending those involved in Pharmally deal | Inquirer News

Pacquiao: Duterte wrong for defending those involved in Pharmally deal

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 04:38 PM February 16, 2022
Senator Manny Pacquiao said it is wrong for President Rodrigo Duterte to have prematurely defended those involved in the Pharmally deal.

FILE PHOTO: Presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential candidate Senator Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday said it is wrong for President Rodrigo Duterte to have prematurely defended those involved in the controversial multi-billion-peso pandemic supply deals with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. even while Congress is still investigating the matter.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, in a report, earlier accused Duterte of betraying the public trust in connection with his actions related to the Pharmally controversy.

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“Ang mali lang talaga ni President Duterte nag react agad sya na hindi pa tapos yung investigation, and then nalaman na totoo naman yung ginagawa ng mga tao,” Pacquiao said in a FOCAP forum.

(What President Duterte did wrong there is that he reacted quickly when the investigation, and then there were many revelations on what the people did.)

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“Ang mga ebidensya na hinain sa kanila ay malakas. Siguro ‘yun ang mali ng ating Pangulo na dinepensahan niya ‘yung mga nagnanakaw,” he added.

(The evidence against them is strong. Maybe that was what the President did wrong. It seemed he defended thieves.)

In the Senate committee’s report, plunder, graft, and other criminal and administrative charges were recommended against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, former government officials, and Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation executives.

The report argued that it was Duterte who appointed the people who approved the anomalous transactions and “aggressively protected and defended them.” The President even “attempted to diminish the Senate and Commission on Audit.”

“The most troubling question remains — why was the President so quick to defend those closest to him once their names were linked to the anomaly and then so eager to discredit the Senate investigation, prevent his appointees from cooperating, and absolve them of any liability?” the report read.

When the panel was starting its probe on the issue, Duterte lashed at COA, which found deficiencies on how the Department of (DOH) managed its P67.32-billion fund to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duterte also issued a memorandum barring his Cabinet officials from attending the blue ribbon hearings.

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“Unfortunately, based on the President’s own behavior, one cannot help but conclude that he was aware of, allowed, and condoned,” the report read.

Pacquiao said that he would have been hurt and ashamed if his appointed men were accused of graft and corruption.

He vowed to continue the probe on the Pharmally mess and even investigate other agencies like the Department of Energy and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The boxer-turned-politician vows to fight corruption should he be elected as president, citing that it as one of the country’s biggest problems, saying it causes mass poverty and stunted economic growth.

Pacquiao earlier claimed there was over P10 billion in pandemic aid intended for pandemic-hit families is unaccounted for.

He even claimed the DOE, the Department of Social Welfare, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources are among the corrupt agencies in the government.

“Ituloy ang imbestigasyon, ipakulong ang dapat ipakulong at hindi lang Pharmally kung pati mga nakabinbin na imbestigahan,” he said.

(The probe should be continued and those who are guilty should be jailed. Not only on Pharmally deal but other cases that are pending.)

“Naabutan lang ng election, pati yung DOE grabe ‘yung corruption diyan. DPWH. Marami. Marami pang ahensya na dapat imbestigahan dahil maraming corruption,” he added.

(Even the DOE and the DPWH, corruption is grave there. There are many agencies that need to be investigated due to corruption.)

Pacquiao is among the eight senators who have so far signed the Blue Ribbon Committee Report.

JPV

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TAGS: Betrayal of public trust, blue ribbon committee, defend, Pacquiao, Rodrigo Duterte
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