'Wag mo sunugin ang bahay': Cusi tells Pacquiao to prove corruption or shut up

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 13 2021 11:24 AM | Updated as of Jul 13 2021 11:31 AM

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MANILA - Expelled PDP-Laban Vice Chairman Alfonso Cusi on Tuesday challenged Sen. Manny Pacquiao to prove his allegation of corruption in several government agencies, or "shut up."

The boxer-lawmaker's accusations are "really regrettable because as a senator he should be responsible with his actions," said Cusi, also the secretary of the Department of Energy.

"He should prove it. We are ready. You cannot just accuse the President and say, ‘Where’s the P10 billion?’ You prove it. If you cannot prove it, you better shut up," Cusi told ANC's Headstart.

The energy chief noted PDP-Laban is pushing a certain program of governance. "Kung hindi siya naniniwala dun, wag mo naman sunugin ang bahay (If he does not believe in that, he should not burn the whole house)," he added.

Pacquiao is currently the president of PDP-Laban after Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III stepped down last year. However, at least one official of the party pointed out that he is only on a holdover position and was not duly elected by the party members.

Cusi and 2 other members, meanwhile, were expelled from the ruling party for allegedly violating several provisions of the party's constitution.

In the interview, Cusi attacked Pacquiao for making accusations and then heading to the United States to prepare for his upcoming boxing match.

"Hindi naman fair na basta na lang siya mag-a-accuse, aalis siya. Harapin niya kami," he said.

(It's not fair that he would just make the accusation then leave. He should face us.)

In a press conference before leaving for the US, 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.

Last month, when pressed by President Rodrigo Duterte to identify one agency with supposed corruption, the boxer-lawmaker named the Department of Health.

He also tagged the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Department of Energy as tainted with corruption. 

Cusi said it would now be difficult for President Duterte and Pacquiao to remain in the same political party after the senator threw accusations against the administration.

"Mahirap (It's difficult) because the party, if you are with the party, you must believe in the same principles and ideologies. Kailangan aligned kayo (You have to be aligned). If you are not aligned, then you cannot be in the same party," he said.

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