MANILA - If you encounter corrupt officials, make a scene.
President Rodrigo Duterte made this call to Filipinos in his 4th State of the Nation Address Monday, saying they should "be assertive" if they encounter corrupt officials.
"Kayo rin kasi sinasabi ko na sa'yo, be assertive. At 'pag kayo hiningan more than the required payment by government, again I'm telling you mag-iskandalo kayo sa opisina," Duterte said.
(I'm telling you, be assertive. And when you are asked for more than the required payment by government, again I'm telling you, make a scene in the office.)
"Make a scene. Sampalin mo 'yang mga y**a na 'yan kasi aabot rin sa akin 'yan," he said.
(Make a scene. Slap that [person] because that report will also reach me.)
Duterte made the remarks as he expressed frustration over still prevalent corruption in government three years into his campaign against abusive civil servants.
The President even gave the public a line they could say when faced with a corrupt official: "...[S]abi ni Duterte that if you extort money from me, I will slap you. At sampalin talaga ninyo. Di na bale magkaaway, I will defend you."
(Duterte said that if you extort money from me, I will slap you. And really slap them. It doesn't matter if this will start a fight, I will defend you.)
He said he has punished corrupt officials at Malacañang Palace, making them eat peso bills.
"And I have done that. Ako magprangka sa inyo. Ako lang presidente na hanggang ngayon nambubugbog ng mga tao. Pinapakain ko ng pera mga y**a na 'yan."
(I will be frank with you. I am the only president who until now beats people. I make them eat bills.)
He told citizens to report corrupt officials through hotline 8888.
"Be sure that it is true, though you are not liable for libel, pero 'wag naman 'yang makasakit ka ng tao na wala namang kasalanan (but don't file a report that would hurt someone who is not guilty)."
He said he would be "unyielding in our reforms to weed them out," citing how he has "fired and caused the resignation" of more than 100 officials and government appointees without regard to alliances or relationships.
"There is no sacred cow, as the saying goes, in my administration."
He cited the Bureau of Customs, where more than 60 officials were recently relieved over alleged corruption.
"If I cannot dismiss them for reason of security of tenure, I will allow plantilla positions but report to Congress every day to help me with huge paperwork every day. All of them will go out of the premises of Customs," he said.
Later in his speech, he told of how "corruption exasperates" and "frustrates."
"Let me ask you. When will corruption end? I don't know. I've been in government for almost 35 years now, I'm not singling out myself. It's the entire gamut of our system," the President said.