Pacquiao with new jab: Corruption in SAP means 1.3M families without ayuda

Jul 3, 2021
PHOTO: Manny Pacquiao/Instagram

NOT even a week after Pacquiao released a statement accusing the Department of Health of corruption, the senator is wading into another round at the ring in the ongoing war of words between himself and the administration.

On Saturday, Pacquiao presented a thick sheaf of documents which he said would prove his accusations of government corruption.

In particular, the boxer-politician took aim at the Social Amelioration Program, the cash transfer program for low-income families. Of the 1.8 million who were supposed to receive their SAP, 1.3 million were supposedly not able to receive them through the Starpay mobile wallet — even if government records show otherwise.

“Bakit sa 1.8 million na binigyan ng SAP mula sa Starpay ay 500,000 lamang po katao ang nakadownload nito?” he said in a press conference with the media. It is impossible, Pacquiao added, to withdraw or receive funds if you don’t have the Starpay app. “Ang tanong ko po, anong nangyari sa 1.3 million katao na hindi nakadownload ng Starpay app ngunit sa record po nakatanggap na sila ng ayuda?”

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As a result, P10.4 billion in funds needs to be accounted for, Pacquiao said — an amount that he found dizzying.

"Nalula po ako," said the senator.

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He also questioned the legitimacy of Starpay, calling it a “di-kilalang e-wallet [...] na may build-up capital lamang po na P60,000.”

Pacquiao names DSWD, DOE

Pacquiao also added that the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Energy (DOE) are also affected by corruption.

Alfonso Cusi, the vice chairman of Pacquiao’s political party, PDP-Laban, is also the secretary of the DOE.

Over the past week, Pacquiao has launched a flurry of allegations against the administration and his former ally, President Duterte. In his Monday night address, the chief executive dared Pacquiao to prove his allegations of corruption. Then, on Tuesday morning, in an interview with ANC’s Karen Davila, Cusi said that Pacquiao was “burning his bridges” within his own party.

Hours later, the champion boxer, who is scheduled to face Errol Spence on August, accused the Department of Health of corruption.

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Pacquiao is the president of Duterte’s current political party, PDP-Laban, which is currently being beset by rifts.

However, in today's press conference, he pushed back against Cusi, saying, "I'm not burning the bridges or the house. Ginagawa ko lahat ng makakaya ko para magkaisa ang members ng partido, pinapalakas ko ang partido."

He also affirmed his loyalty to the president, saying, "Mr. Presdient [...] nandito po ako para tumulong sa inyo upang tukuyin ang mga ahensiya ng gobyerno na may maling gawain."

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PHOTO: Manny Pacquiao/Instagram
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