MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard Gordon on Wednesday called on Senator Manny Pacquiao to provide specific details and documents that would enable the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to launch an investigation into his allegations of corruption in various government agencies.
In a statement, Gordon said Pacquiao has yet to file a resolution or request for an investigation regarding his corruption claims.
“Investigation of corruption cases must proceed but my committee cannot investigate based merely on newspaper accounts. I have neither received any request nor has any Resolution been filed regarding Senator Manny Pacquiao’s allegations. Moreover, no documents have been shared with us,” he said.
Despite this, Gordon, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, assured that he will not shirk his duties and responsibilities.
He also said that Pacquiao’s claims, like any other allegations, should be taken seriously.
“But before we can even think of proceeding, the Blue Ribbon must know what it will be specifically investigating. It cannot go willy-nilly into any battlefield without knowledge of the what, the who, the how, the when, and the damage it caused the government. Unfortunately, we have yet to see the specificity of the allegations,” the senator said.
While the Senate panel may call for a motu proprio investigation, Gordon said that he needs to see specific facts surrounding the alleged offenses committed.
“In legal parlance, I need a bill of particulars to be fair to all concerned. The tremendous powers of the Blue Ribbon Committee cannot be exercised in a cavalier fashion that could only lead to abuse. We are not in the business of chasing ghosts. We are in the business of doing what is right,” he said.
In the meantime, Gordon said he has instructed the Blue Ribbon staff to get in touch with the authorities to find out whether there is “smoke and fire” that is right behind it.
“If there is basis, I will not hesitate to act and do what is right,” he said.
Pacquiao over the weekend claimed that there was corruption in the budget for COVID-19 response of some government agencies, particularly the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Energy, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
He then left for the United States to train for his boxing match in August.
He did not present documents but said he has a witness to prove irregularities in aid disbursement. He also promised to present more corruption allegations after he returns from his boxing bout.
The agencies accused of corruption have all expressed their willingness to cooperate with any probe.