ANOTHER weekly speech from president Duterte, another tirade against former ally Manny Pacquiao.
More than a week after Pacquiao alleged anomalies in the Social Amelioration Program totaling P10.4 billion, the chief executive addressed the senator’s statements, with a very boxing appropriate takedown.
“I think Pacquiao is punch-drunk,” said Duterte. “I think he is to be talking about P10 billion from nowhere.”
He continued: “Papayag ba naman ang COA (Commission on Audit)? At hindi lang ‘yan, papayag ba kami? Papayag ba naman ang mga secretary ng mga departamento na may mawala?”
Duterte ended his statement by concluding: “That is a statement coming from a guy who is punch-drunk.”
At the moment, Pacquiao is in the United States, preparing for his upcoming bout against Errol Spence.
Infighting continues in Duterte, Pacquiao's party
Before he departed the Philippines, however, the boxer held a press conference where he claimed to have evidence to back his corruption accusations against the Duterte administration. Amid piles of documents, Pacquiao not only claimed that there was more than P10 billion unaccounted for in the SAP, but he also said that agencies like the DSWD and the DOE are affected by corruption.
Meanwhile, internal divisions continue to split Duterte and Pacquiao’s political party. As president of PDP-Laban, Pacquiao moved to expel party vice chairman (and DOE secretary) Alfonso Cusi and other party officials for “showing allegiance to a political party apart from PDP Laban.”
Pacquiao’s camp is accusing Cusi and the two officials of being disloyal to the party for backing a non-member in Duterte’s bid for the vice presidency in next year’s national elections.
However, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed today that Duterte will still be attending a PDP-Laban meeting that will be presided by the energy czar, and that the president still “recognizes the leadership of Secretary Cusi.”
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