Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday accepted President Rodrigo Duterte's challenge for him to name government offices involved in corruption as he assured the chief executive that he was not a liar.
"Tinatanggap ko ang hamon ng Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. Salamat po at binigyan nyo kami ng pagkakataon na tumulong sa inyo at bigyan kayo ng mga impormasyon para kampanya kontra korapsyon," Pacquiao said in a statement.
Duterte on Monday night lashed out at Pacquiao for pointing to alleged corruption in government and dared him to prove it, otherwise the President said he would expose the senator as a "liar."
Pacquiao said it was Duterte who mentioned in an October 2020 speech that corruption worsened in the government.
He quoted the President as saying: "I will concentrate the last remaining years of my term fighting corruption kasi hanggang ngayon hindi humihina, lumalakas pa lalo."
Pacquiao was dismayed that he and the President would fight over corruption when they should be working together to address it.
"Mawalang galang po mahal na Pangulo, ngunit hindi ako sinungaling. May mga naging pagkakamali ako sa buhay na aking itinuwid at itinama ngunit dalawang bagay ang kaya kong panghawakan. Hindi ako tiwali at hindi ako sinungaling," he said.
Pacquiao suggested starting the investigation in the Department of Health, which is leading the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Silipin at busisiin natin lahat ng mga binili mula sa rapid test kits, PPE, masks at iba pa. Handa ka ba Sec. Francisco Duque na ipakita ang kabuuan ng iyong ginagastos? Saan napunta ang pera na inutang natin para sa pandemya?" he said.
Pacquiao serves as acting president of Duterte's PDP-Laban party. Before he lashed out at the senator on Monday night, the President said Pacquiao was among his “options” for a successor when he steps down from the presidency next June.