The Palace wished Senator Manny Pacquiao the “best of luck” in his fight with undefeated World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation welterweight Errol Spence Jr. in August, but said his greatness did not go beyond the boxing ring.
“Of course, we wish all Filipinos the best of luck in whatever they do best,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing in Pampanga.
Roque then took a swipe at the Filipino boxing icon, saying “when it comes to Manny Pacquiao, he’s best in the boxing ring but probably not as good elsewhere.”
Earlier President Rodrigo Duterte criticized the senator for claiming that corruption has tripled under the present administration.
Duterte and Pacquiao both belong to the ruling party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), with Pacquiao as acting president and Duterte as chairman.
Before flying to Los Angeles last Saturday in preparation for his bout with Spence on August 22, Pacquiao held a press conference where he accused at least four agencies -- the departments of Social Welfare, Energy, Health and Environment -- of being involved in anomalous transactions.
The Palace, however, described Pacquiao’s corruption exposé as mere watusi, a harmless firecracker favored by small children, instead of the bombshell it was supposed to be.
“Watusi. Nothing. It’s nothing. Because these are generalized allegations. No bill of particulars. No specific instance. No evidence,” Roque said.
Roque said Pacquiao was just politicking because he could not present concrete evidence to support his allegations of massive corruption in the Duterte government.
The senator will miss at least one month of his Senate duties while in the US as Congress resumes session on July 26.