Duterte says he tried his 'very best to control' corruption during his term

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 04 2022 09:09 PM | Updated as of May 05 2022 02:37 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech during the commemoration of the 501st anniversary of the victory of Mactan themed 'Adlaw ni Lapu-Lapu' at the Liberty Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on April 27, 2022. Karl Alonzo, Presidential Photo
President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech during the commemoration of the 501st anniversary of the victory of Mactan themed "Adlaw ni Lapu-Lapu" at the Liberty Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on April 27, 2022. Karl Alonzo, Presidential Photo

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he did his "very best to control" corruption during his term, even at the expense of firing his own Cabinet members and other officials. 

Duterte said government officials are paid to look after Filipinos' welfare and that they should do "what is right." The President in 2016 vowed a "clean government" under his leadership.  

"We are governed by the rules. So the moment you go out of the parameters of what's the mandate of your work, diyan tayo nagkakaproblema. Yan ang sa gobyerno, and I tried my very best to control corruption," Duterte said during his speech at the inauguration of the new Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

The Chief Executive, who will step down from office on June 30, recalled that he fired six of his Cabinet members as well as 42 immigration personnel for their alleged links in the so-called "Pastillas Scam."

Under the scheme, Chinese nationals enter the Philippines as tourists and later work for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) hubs, paying immigration personnel around P10,000.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra had confirmed, however, that these personnel had gone back to duty and were not fired

"I just don't want to banner what you do and what you do not do. Of course yung pastillas doon sa airport, 42 of them, yung lahat... hindi lang sila transferred, I fired them. Hindi ako mahilig sa transfer, transfer," said Duterte.

"You know because i-transfer mo, kagaya sa pulis, you transfer... then he goes to another jurisdiction and commit the same crimes," he added.

Duterte last year said corruption is "endemic" in the government. 

If the next president wants to get rid of corruption, they should "declare martial law," and remove and replace all government workers, according to the President. 

Aside from the pastillas scheme, various corruption scandals hounded the Duterte administration, including the P15 billion "missing" funds in state insurer PhilHealth and the P11 billion anomalies in pandemic transactions through Pharmally. 

Duterte had also been criticized for reappointing government officials linked to allegations of corruption.

The Philippines ranked 117th out of 180 countries in the corruption index by Berlin-based watchdog Transparency International for the year 2021.

It earned a score of 34 out of 100 points, with 100 indicating a "very clean" government and zero, "highly corrupt".

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