MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he has fired two Malacañang employees over alleged corruption.
The President made this revelation in a speech at an event in Pasay City but gave scant details about the incident.
“I promised you corruption, I will stop it. I will stop it. I just fired two employees from Malacañang for making a call and suggesting that, you know, for just suggesting,” he said in his hour-long speech during the Agrilink / Foodlink / Aqualink 2017 event at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
In an interview with Palace Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, Duterte provided more details about the firing of the two employees but he still refused to reveal their names.
“I signed, firing two people from Malacañang for using their influence. Empleyado diyan tapos kung anu-anong pinagsasabi sa labas, na malakas. I hate that,” he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said it is premature to release “any names until concerned parties are properly informed.”
Duterte won the presidency on a platform of eradicating corruption in government and ending the country's illegal drug problem.
The President has just created an anti-corruption commission with broad powers to go after his appointees and other erring government officials.
It has been his habit to declare in public his decision to fire some of his appointees due to allegations of corruption or incompetence.
In May, Duterte fired Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chairman Benjamin Reyes for supposedly contradicting the government’s official data on drug addicts in the country.
In April, he sacked Cabinet Undersecretary Maia Chiara Halmen Reina Valdez for overruling National Food Authority Administrator Jason Aquino's decision to suspend rice importation as it was still harvest season in the Philippines. Valdez denied the allegations.
The President had also axed Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno due to corruption allegations involving the country's purchase of firetrucks from an Austrian firm.
Sueno maintained he was not corrupt and said the President may have been fed wrong information.
The President had also fired Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) chief Anna Rosario Paner for hiring consultants who earn as much as P200,000 monthly.
Duterte has said he would not tolerate even a “whiff” of corruption from any government employee.
The President himself is facing investigation over his and his family's wealth. He has maintained he was not hiding his wealth from the public.