DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 May) — President Rodrigo Duterte expressed disappointment on Sunday that some government officials he appointed turned out to be corrupt.
During the annual town fiesta of Tabogon, Cebu, Duterte also disclosed that he is set to fire five more government officials when he returns to Malacañang, as he reiterated his campaign promise to eliminate the corrupt officials in government.
“To my sorrow, ang kana pa mga tao nga nag-udyok nako niadto nga modagan kay mao lage ni corrupt ang gobyerno, wa nay pag-asa, mao kini, mao kana… (To my sorrow, those people who urged me to run because the government is corrupt, there’s no hope, this and that),” the President said.
Duterte also mentioned he would fire an appointee who approached his sister to allegedly seek “advice” about a project.
The President did not name the officials he would fire.
“As a matter of fact, it was just a conversation about a project but what I did not like was this, ayawg estoryahe na akong pamilya, mga proyekto even kung wala pay nahitabo, even kung wala pay proyekto (do not talk to my family about your projects, even if nothing happens yet, even if there’s no actual project yet),” he said.
He added that if there is one thing he realized after becoming President, it is that people would be tempted to take advantage of their position no matter how good they are because “human beings have feet of clay.”
“Basig unsaon nimo katarong, kung naa na sa pwesto maghalhal na… oportunidad na mangwarta. Na-realize ko na (No matter how good you are, you would change when you are already in the position, when there’s opportunity to steal. I realized that),” Duterte said.
Duterte told those who helped him during 2016 Presidential election that he would not hesitate to kick them out if he learns of their corrupt practices.
“Nagsigi ko ingon nga maguol ko aning mga tao nga nakatabang nako pero ako gyud silang ingnan nga bisan dihang dapita, corruption wa gyud ko mahimo ninyo. Bisag unsa ta kaamigo (I keep on saying that I worry about those people who helped me but I told them that when it comes to corruption, there’s nothing I can do for you. No matter how close we are),” he said.
It can be recalled that former Tourism secretary Wanda Teo was asked to resign amid the controversial P60 million ad placement in her brother’s blocktime program, Kilos Pronto, aired over state-run People’s Television (PTV) Network in 2017. Teo initially refused to resign and maintained she had nothing to do with the transactions between PTV and her brother’s company.
Last week, Duterte advised Justice assistant secretary Moslemen Macarambon Sr. and Public Works assistant secretary Tingagun A. Umpa to resign from their posts due to their alleged involvement in corruption based on the investigation of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).
According to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Macarambon, appointed on January 9, 2017, reportedly intervened on behalf of the suspected smugglers of gold and other precious jewelry at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
In a statement, Macarambon said he merely asked for re-computation of taxes which he argued is “not corruption.”
Appointed as assistant secretary for Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Operations and Special Mindanao Projects on January 5, 2018, Umpa was accused of committing grave abuse of power and corruption when he allegedly asked for “certain percentages” from constructions who would construct government projects in the region. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)