MANILA - An official of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) on Monday said Sen. Manny Pacquiao's claims that some P10.4 billion in Social Amelioration Program (SAP) funds went missing have yet to be proven due to lack of evidence.
Pacquiao on Saturday said that out of the 1.8 million SAP beneficiaries, only 500,000 were able to successfully use the Starpay app. He said one needed to download the application to claim their aid.
PACC commissioner Greco Belgica said they are still waiting for documents to prove the boxer-senator's claims, but the official said that right now, Pacquiao's claims are "not conclusive" since they have not undergone investigation.
"As of now, wala ka pong mako-conclude dahil it's a mere allegation eh. Tapos wala namang investigation report na nangyari talaga pa (And there's yet no investigation report)," Belgica told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
He said PACC is looking into reports of anomalies in the SAP distribution since the start of 2021, and they still have to see if the senator's charges are new or included in their investigation.
"Wala pa hong investigation nagawa si Sen. Manny. Kami meron na ... wala pa talagang conclusion. Wala pang masasabi na, 'Ikaw ang kurap, ikaw kurap ka, eto ang corruption na nangyari.' Wala pa ho," Belgica said.
(Sen. Manny has not yet finished an investigation. We have ... there's no conclusion yet. We can't say yet that, 'You're corrupt, this is the corruption that happened.)
Belgica admitted he still has to confirm if Starpay is also included in their own probe.
According to Pacquiao, around 1.3 million beneficiaries were supposedly unable to get critical pandemic aid, the tip of what he said was massive corruption he has uncovered.
The senator said he will file a resolution for a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigation on Starpay and agencies allegedly involved in corruption by Monday.
“May hawak akong mga ebidensya, matibay na ebidensya pero ire-refer ko ito sa committee… Katulad ng sinabi ko, sa ebidensya ko, P10.4 billion ang nawawala,” said Pacquiao.
(I have evidence, strong evidence but I would just refer this to the committee. Just like what I said, based on the evidence that I have, some P10.4 billion in funds are missing.)
Pacquiao also said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) allotted P50 billion for the application, when it supposedly just had paid up capital of P62,000.
The DSWD meanwhile said it is open for investigation, adding their department went to Congressional hearings to answer queries on the cash aid distribution.
Earlier, Pacquiao said the health department was among the most corrupt agencies in the country, which Health Secretary Francisco Duque III denied.