In a virtual press con Saturday, Pacquiao claimed that only 500,000 of 1.8 million SAP beneficiaries were able to successfully download the Starpay app, dubbed “pitaka ng bayan”, and get their “ayuda” or dole outs during the pandemic.
Pacquiao noted that beneficiaries could only get the SAP through the Starpay under the guidelines set by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“Sa mga hindi po nakakaalam, hindi ka pwedeng mag-receive and withdraw kung wala kang nada-download na Starpay app. Ang tanong ko po, ano ang nangyari sa 1.3 million na katao na hindi naka-download sa Star Pay app ngunit sa record po ay nakatanggap sila ng ayuda,” said Pacquiao who noted that this was just one of the anomalies he stumbled upon during his scrutiny of Starpay’s operations.
According to an opinion column of Ramon Tulfo in the Manila Times, Starpay is owned by businessman Dennis Uy. But based on Starmobile’s page, the president and CEO of Starpay is Joey Uy.
Pacquiao said that while disbursing the SAP through an e-wallet was a good strategy, he asked why the DSWD handpicked Uy’s Starpay to handle P50 billion in total SAP fund when it had no track record, was plagued with many bugs, and had a minuscule paid up capital of P62,000.
When asked if the alleged Starpay corruption reached the Cabinet level, Pacquiao said : “Exciting itong investigation na ito dahil abangan niyo kung sino ang mga sangkot.”
Pacquiao said he has a witness who would speak on the alleged Starpay corruption and that both the Departments of Health and Environment and Natural Resources were involved.
“Nalulula po ako. Doon po sa binanggit ko na isang isyu lamang P10.4 billion na po kaagad ‘yon. Malaking pera po. Meron akong matibay na ebidensya mabubulgar yan. Abangan niyo sa Blue Ribbon committee dahil hindi lang ito black and white for your information,” he added.