President Rodrigo Duterte is waiting for Sen. Manny Pacquiao to name corrupt government agencies, Malacañang said Thursday, as the word war between the two allies continued.
While Pacquiao floated the Department of Health among the supposed corrupt government agencies, Duterte's spokesperson Harry Roque dismissed it as "nothing new."
"Inaantay po ng Presidente yung listahan ng mga corrupt na ahensya ni Sen. Pacquiao. Bagama't sinabi niya na isa doon sa mga ahensya ay DOH, eh talaga naman pong naimbestigahan na 'yan fully ng Senado so wala pong bago dun sa sinabi niyang departamento na DOH," Roque said in a press briefing in Iloilo City.
"Sana bago umalis si Sen. Pacquiao ay makapagsabi siya...Hindi niya (Duterte) tino-tolerate ang corruption," he added, in reference to Pacquiao's upcoming boxing match in the United States.
Duterte earlier called out Pacquiao for his corruption statement and dared the boxer-turned-lawmaker to prove it, or else, the President said he would expose the senator as a "liar" and campaign against him. The senator denied that he is a liar.
Pacquiao is in the thick of training for his bout with two-belt champion Errol Spence while facing a lawsuit with a global sports agency, and a feud with President Duterte.
Roque claimed that Pacquiao's comments on corruption could be linked to politics and the senator's plans to run for president in 2022.
"Alam naman nating lahat na gustong tumakbong presidente ni Sen. Pacquiao," Roque said.
Prior to Duterte and Pacquiao's word war, Malacañang had said that the President was considering the fighting senator as among his possible successors.