Gordon: Specifics of Pacquiao's corruption claim imperative to launch Senate inquiry

Published July 7, 2021, 12:16 PM

by Mario Casayuran

While the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee may call for a hearing motu proprio, Senator Richard J. Gordon said he needs to see the specific facts of alleged corruption offenses committed.

‘’In legal parlance, I need a bill of particulars to be fair to all concerned,’’ Gordon, committee chairman, said, referring to the allegations of corruptioin in government that was made recently by Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao.

Pacquiao left Manila last Sunday for the United States to train before his August 21 boxing bout in Las Vegas.

But Pacquiao failed to submit documents to the Senate to back up his corruption allegations after a zoom media press conference and before leaving for the US.

There is now a falling out between President Duterte, chairman of the ruling Partido Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP)-Laban, and Pacquiao, PDP-Laban president, after the latter alleged that the Duterte administration is three times more corrupt than during the President ‘’PNoy’’ Aquino administration.

In a statement, Gordon said an Investigation of corruption cases must proceed ‘’but my committee cannot investigate based merely on newspaper accounts.’’

‘’I have neither received any request, nor has any Resolution been filed regarding Senator Manny Pacquiao’s allegations. Moreover, no documents have been shared with us. Nevertheless, I will not shirk from my duty and responsibilities as Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman,’’ he stressed.

Gordon said the current allegations hurled by Senator Pacquiao against several executive departments, like any other allegation made by any other colleague, must be taken seriously.

‘’But before we can even think of proceeding, the Blue Ribbon must know what it will be specifically investigating. It cannot go willy-nilly into any battlefield without knowledge of the what, the who, the how, the when, and the damage it caused the government. Unfortunately, we have yet to see the specificity of the allegations,’’ he pointed out.

Gordon emphasized that the tremendous powers of the Blue Ribbon Committee cannot be exercised in a cavalier fashion that could only lead to abuse.

‘’We are not in the business of chasing ghosts. We are in the business of doing what is right,’’ he said.

‘’In the meantime, I have instructed the Blue Ribbon staff, as well as my own office staff, to get in touch with the authorities to find out whether there is “smoke and fire” that is right behind it. If there is basis, I will not hesitate to act and do what is right,’’ he added.