Duterte fires Customs official over foreign trips

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2018 04:42 PM | Updated as of May 30 2018 05:01 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday he fired a customs official over alleged excessive travels.

The President said Deputy Commissioner Noel Patrick Sales Prudente made "personal" travels to Singapore and Europe.

"I will cut short the agony of Congress. I’m firing him today," Duterte said in a speech after witnessing the destruction of smuggled vehicles worth P34.7 million.

Prudente, a former Philippine National Railways director, was appointed to the Bureau of Customs last February to replace Gerardo Gambala at the bureau's Management Information System Technology Group.

Duterte reiterated his warning to state workers against engaging in corruption.

"If there’s anything that you cannot afford, maybe [treatment for] cancer, medications, you can always go to my office, there’s money… I will look for ways, if not I will borrow," he said.

The President has fired or sought the resignation of government officials over alleged unnecessary trips abroad, including former Commission on Higher Education chairperson Patricia Licuanan, former Maritime Industry Authority administrator Marcial Amaro III, and former Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor chair Terry Ridon.