Sen. Richard Gordon on Wednesday said the Senate Blue Ribbon committee which he heads cannot initiate a probe into the corruption issues revealed by Sen. Manny Pacquiao as these are based only on newspaper accounts.
“Investigation of corruption cases must proceed but my committee cannot investigate based merely on newspaper accounts,” he said.
While Gordon insisted he is not shirking from his duties and responsibilities as Blue Ribbon chairman, he said Pacquiao’s camp has not shared the documents they have with his committee.
He said he needs a bill of particulars to be fair to all concerned parties.
“We are not in the business of chasing ghosts. We are in the business of doing what is right,” Gordon added.
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.
Pacquiao questioned the P50 billion contract entered into by the Department of Social Welfare and Development with e-wallet app Starpay, which he said only had a paid-up capital of P62,000. He said P14 billion was released to Starpay for the disbursement of social amelioration funds of some 1.8 million beneficiaries, but only 500,000 individuals downloaded the app.
The senator accused the Department of Health of buying nearly expired medicines at regular prices while he said some of the documents he has collated pointed to corrupt activities in the Department of Environment and Natural Resource, but did not elaborate.
Pacquiao questioned the decision of the Department of Energy to authorize the private firm Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines to become a power stock market operator when it only had a paid-up capital of P7,000.
All the agencies accused by Pacquiao have denied his allegations, and the Palace described his corruption exposé as mere watusi, a harmless firecracker favored by small children, instead of the bombshell it was supposed to be.