Duterte sacks head of Pasig River rehab body over corruption allegations


Posted at Sep 10 2019 06:35 PM | Updated as of Sep 10 2019 11:15 PM

Jose Antonio Goitia. From the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission Facebook page

MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte has terminated the services of executive director of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) as part of the administration's crackdown on graft and corruption, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Tuesday. 

Panelo said the President fired PRRC head Jose Antonio E. Goitia "pursuant to the President's continuing mandate to eradicate graft and corruption, and to ensure that public officials and employees conduct themselves in a manner worthy of public trust."

"We hope that this shall serve as another example that this Administration does not -- and will never -- tolerate corrupt practices in the bureaucracy and in public service," Panelo said in a statement. 

In a speech in Malacañang Tuesday afternoon, Duterte said he fired Goitia because the latter has been telling people he will be appointed in the Bureau of Customs.

"He's telling people he will be appointed Customs collector, and already was collecting," he said.

The President also said there will be other officials from the PRRC who will be fired.

Goitia was advised to turn over all official documents and properties in his possession to the PRRC's Office of the Deputy Executive Director for Finance and Administrative Services. 

"I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the President for entrusting me to serve as Executive Director of Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC)," Goitia said in a statement posted on Facebook

Goitia was appointed as PRRC head in 2017.

Duterte earlier transferred the chairmanship of the PRRC to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) from the Department of Budget and Management.

The PRRC was formed through an executive order signed by President Joseph Estrada on Jan. 6, 1999 to rehabilitate Pasig River, which connects the Laguna de Bay and the Manila Bay and cuts across Metro Manila. 

Under the Estrada order, the budget secretary and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority general manager shall exercise co-chairmanship of the commission.

Duterte had earlier fired officials on suspicion of corruption and wrongdoing, including the chief of the Food and Drug Administration in May and over 50 Customs officials in June.