MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday lashed out anew against Senator Manny Pacquiao, calling the latter "punch-drunk" for alleging that P10 billion in Social Amelioration Program funds are missing.
Duterte denied Pacquiao's allegations, saying he will never allow such a thing to happen.
"Mga kaibigan 'wag kayong maniwala riyan, P10 billion mawala. That is the work of a... I have a term for that. It is not mine, I just borrowed it. But I think Pacquiao is punch-drunk," he said in a recorded public address aired Monday night.
(Friends, do not believe that P10 billion went missing. That is the work of a... I have a term for that. It is not mine, I just borrowed it. But I think Pacquiao is punch-drunk.)
"I think he is, to be talking about P10 billion from nowhere. Papayag ba naman ako? At hindi lang 'yan, papayag ba kami, papayag ba ang mga secretary ng mga departamento na papayag, na ganoon, may mawala na P10 billion? That is a statement coming from a guy who is punch-drunk. Lasing," Duterte added.
(I think he is, to be talking about P10 billion from nowhere. Will I allow it? Not only that, will we allow it, will the department secretaries allow that, that P10 billion will go missing? That is a statement coming from a guy who is punch-drunk. Drunk.)
Earlier this month, Pacquiao alleged that some P10.4 billion in Social Amelioration Program funds are missing, with about 1.3 million beneficiaries supposedly unable to get critical pandemic aid as he questioned the use of unknown e-wallet Starpay for the program.
Pacquiao said the health department and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) were among other government agencies he is investigating.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has denied Pacquiao's allegations.
Following Pacquiao's revelations, Duterte raised a tax case that the latter fought as boxing superstar.
A surprise rift erupted between Pacquiao and Duterte in late June, after the President threatened to prove the senator was a liar, over his claim that the current administration is 3 times more corrupt than its predecessors.