Duterte fires DBM undersecretary over corruption

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 19 2017 09:59 PM | Updated as of Oct 19 2017 11:30 PM

(UPDATE) MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he fired a high-ranking official at the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) over corruption.

"Didn’t they tell you I do not like corruption? I just fired the undersecretary of DBM... He was lucky because there were so many people. I wanted to slap him. I even stood up to --- I wanted to kick him on the face. I fired him for corruption," Duterte said in a speech in Manila.

The President did not identify the official and did not give details on his alleged corrupt act. 

In a text message to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno seeking to validate the identity of the official, he confirmed to ABS-CBN News that Duterte relieved the department's undersecretary for legal, Gertrudo de Leon, of his duties.

Duterte had revealed in a speech Wednesday that he fired a certain official, but he did not give a specific reason for his decision.

The President had earlier made public his decision to fire his appointees over allegations of corruption or incompetence. 

Just last week, he announced that he fired two officials for allegedly sitting on documents that delayed a bridge project in San Juan City. He did not name the officials. 

In May, he fired Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chairman Benjamin Reyes for supposedly contradicting the government’s official data on drug addicts in the country.

In April, he sacked Cabinet Undersecretary Maia Chiara Halmen Reina Valdez for overruling National Food Authority Administrator Jason Aquino's decision to suspend rice importation as it was still harvest season in the Philippines. Valdez denied the allegations.

The President had also axed Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno due to corruption allegations involving the country's purchase of firetrucks from an Austrian firm.

Sueno maintained he was not corrupt and said the President may have been fed wrong information.