MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night said that he has fired several government officials because of their alleged involvement in corruption.
In a taped address, Duterte said this does not mean that the government has gotten rid of corruption as this has become a problem in every administration.
“There is still corruption in this government and any other government that will come after me, and in the past, mayroon talaga ‘yan (it is always there)" Duterte explained.
It will also be possible to eradicate corruption in the government, he said.
"If there is a running bureaucracy and there is money involved and there are a lot of tables where the papers would go through, there will always be corruption," the President said.
"Kung walang . . Ayaw ninyo wala, eh di sarahan mo ang gobyerno. But then again, you choose which way to go. The most that we can do is to fight it.”
(If you don't want corruption, then close the government)
He also announced the names of the fired officials:
- Preciosa Polonia, OIC-Land Management Officer III, City Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Office, Albuera town, Leyte, for the alleged issuance of free patent in favor of a disqualified applicant.
- Sacaruddin Magarang, Regional Executive Director of DENR-Region XII for grave misconduct and the alleged involvement in serious irregularities in the issuance of free patent titles.
- Amante Burbano, special investigator of the DENR as his conduct was supposedly prejudicial to the best interest of the service and the alleged falsification of public documents, and alleged involvement in the residential free patent applications.
- Maria Babyruth Nicolas, Staff, CENRO-Guiguinto, Bulacan, DENR-Region III for grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service for allegedly undertaking illegal fixing transactions.
As of posting time, ABS-CBN News could not independently verify the allegations made against the officials.
In 2016, Duterte won the presidency campaigning on a promise to fight corruption, crime, and illegal drugs.
But his administration has been dogged by scandals and allegations of graft and cover-ups in state agencies ranging from prisons, the state insurer, immigration, airports and customs, to police and the drugs enforcement agency, few of which led to convictions or high-profile resignations.
In early April, the country’s so-called “mega” task force against corruption (TFAC) led by the Department of Justice (DOJ) said it has received almost 300 complaints since it was established late last year.
Late last year, Duterte ordered the DOJ to investigate the entire government for corruption until the end of his term in 2022.
- With a report from Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News