Philippines: Manny Pacquiao backs corruption claims with missing public funds allegation
President Rodrigo Duterte tells boxer-turned-lawmaker to focus on investigating graft instead of preparing for a fight.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday landed an insulting verbal blow on boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao, seen as a possible successor in next year's presidential election.
Pacquiao has recently railed at corruption in government as well as the president's friendly relationship with China.
"When you are a champion in boxing, it does not mean to say that you are a champion in politics," Duterte told a media briefing.
"He is blubbering his mouth."
Pacquiao, 42, had long been among Duterte's strongest supporters but is seen as a possible contender when Duterte's single six-year term ends.
Duterte asked why the boxer-turned-lawmaker was only talking about corruption now - and said he should focus on investigating graft rather than leaving the country to prepare for a fight next month.
"I would say that you are shit," Duterte said. "Start investigating. Comply first with your duty as a senator. Don't be absent."
Pacquiao's office said he would respond. He and Duterte belong to the same political party, which is urging the president to run for vice president next year.
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