DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 2 Nov) – President Rodrigo R. Duterte tasked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to focus on graft and corruption in the government.
He said this during his visit to the tomb of his parents – the late Vicente, former governor of the then undivided Davao province, and Soledad Duterte – on Tuesday evening.
“I want the NBI now to focus on graft and corruption, yung lang muna ang trabaho nila,” he told reporters.
He said that NBI personnel must stop from their involvement and corruption and drugs themselves.
Duterte said that there was a time when some corrupt policemen were transferred to the NBI so they can’t communicate with their fellow corrupt colleagues, only to find out that they resumed illegal activities at the NBI so they could go into drugs.
He reiterated his campaign promise of putting a stop to the drug problem and corruption in the country.
“When I ran for president, I promised you, I will stop corruption. I will do it. I will stop drugs, I will do it,” he said.
Last September 18, Duterte sought for an extension of at least another six months to deliver on his promise.
“We are rocked by so many problems – kidnapping in the South, terrorism, drugs – which are really really pulling us down. I can say that we would need time to put everything in order. That self-imposed time of three to six months… well, I did not realize how severe and how serious the problem of drug in this republic until I became president.”
Duterte also ordered the dismissal of a police officer in Makati City for extortion and an official from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for corruption.
“I am ordering the police right now to relieve him and place him under suspension and initiate summary dismissal. Ayaw ko na yang matagal,” he said.
Duterte was dismayed by the continuous corruption in government despite his warning that he will be “harsh” in dealing with government workers who are involved in either corruption or illegal drugs.
“Hirap na hirap na nga ako. Pupunta ng ibang bayan, walang tulog at nakikiusap dun ng tulong nila na sana maipalago ang trade relation. Itong police na ito, you better stop or I will stop you. You interpret it the way you like it,” he said.
Duterte said the particular Makati police officer, which he did not name, would be better off if he resigns.
He then warned all members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to stop their involvement in drugs and corruption or he will send them to Basilan or Jolo where efforts of the military to fight the Abu Sayyaf are continuing.
“Naubusan na ako ng sundalo, kailangan ko ng police na tumulong,” he said.
He added that he also wants the Bureau of Customs’ deputy chief for intelligence “suspended and out immediately” because of alleged corrupt practices.
“I have instructed my aide to relay, I want him [customs official] suspended and out immediately,”
He said that whether the reports are true or not, he wants the official to be removed from his post and investigated immediately. Duterte said the official is apparently abusing the slow process in government.
“Pasensya na lang if you do not like my commitment, which to me is a sacred promise. Ito ang gagawin ko, at nanalo ako. I will do it until the last pusher is out of the street, and the last drug lord is exterminated,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)