Senator Manny Pacquiao has defended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa following the probe of the Ombudsman on the top of his acceptance of an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas.
In an interview with reporters, Pacquiao said that other “corrupt” activities should be investigated instead, citing the management of Yolanda rehabilitation funds.
“Minsan, ano rin natin…may mga bagay na dapat nating tutukan especially ang corruption, lalong lalo na yan. Kailangan maipaliwanag kung saan napunta yung funding ng Yolanda,” Pacquiao said.
“Ang mga naghihirap nating kababayan na wala pang mga bahay, nangangailangan pa sila ng tulong eh nasaan yung pera? Yun ang kailangan nating imbestigahan …’Yun ang dapat nating unahin. Hindi yung gagawa ka ng butas dahil kalaban mo,” he added.
The Office of the Ombudsman earlier ordered a probe on Dela Rosa for possible violation of Presidential Decree 46, which makes it punishable for public officials and employees to receive gifts on any occasion, and Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees over alleged travel perks courtesy of Pacquiao.
The investigation will be led by the Ombudsman for Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (MOLEO).
However, Dela Rosa emphasized that no government funds were used during their trip to the US to root for Pacquiao.
Dela Rosa flew to Las Vegas, Nevada to watch the fight of Pacquiao against Jessie Vargas.
Pacquiao said there was nothing malicious in shouldering expenses for the PNP chief.
“Sa’min mga Bisaya, wala kaming iniisip na masama or ano. Ang hangarin namin ay magserbisyo, linisin ang ating bansa at magkaroon ng matiwasay na pamumuhay ang mamamayan,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao could not say how much exactly did he spend for Dela Rosa.