Pacquiao defends spending for Bato trip to Las Vegas

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 11 2016 03:48 PM

MANILA – Senator Manny Pacquiao has defended PNP Chief, Director General Ronald dela Rosa, a day after the Office of the Ombudsman initiated a probe on the top cop's acceptance of an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, who paid for the trip, said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales should instead file cases against corrupt government officials instead of nitpicking Dela Rosa.

The police chief earlier admitted that Pacquiao paid for Dela Rosa and his family’s tickets, accommodations, and other expenses during their trip.

However, Dela Rosa emphasized that no government funds were used during their trip to the US to root for Pacquiao.

"Libre ito ni Manny…Baka sabihin nila, government funds. Hindi naman ako ganoon kayaman [Manny paid for this…No government funds were used. I am not that rich]," he said.

Pacquiao reportedly bought some 2,000 tickets, worth almost $1 million, and flew in some of his friends from government to watch his recent bout against Jessie Vargas.

Aside from Dela Rosa, top officials such as Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, Senator Joel Villanueva, Representatives Rudy Farinas and Toby Tiangco, among others, also cheered Pacquiao on in the US.

"It's an honor na lahat sila, naka-suporta sa akin. Si Bato, Aguirre , at marami pang iba. 'Yung mga kasama na congressmen, si Toby Tiangco, Senator Villanueva. Maraming kaibigan na pumunta dito," Pacquiao said.

Republic Act 6713 states that "public officials and employees shall not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from any person in the course of their official duties or in connection with any operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office."