MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday told corrupt government officials that resignation would not save their necks.
Recently, retired general Ricardo Morales resigned as president and CEO of state medical insurer PhilHealth, after whistleblowers accused top PhilHealth officials of pocketing P15 billion in state funds. A total of 43 PhilHealth senior officers also retired or resigned earlier this month.
"Let me remind everybody in this government na your resignation will not save your neck. Alam mo bakit (you know why)? You are not allowed to resign if there is a pending case against you," Duterte said in a taped speech aired Tuesday.
"Mag-resign ka man, ‘di ka mag-report (even if you resign or do not report), you will be summoned, subpoenaed not because you are already out of government, but because for all intents and purposes you are still a part of government. You are not allowed to resign to escape liability," he added.
Duterte said he would focus on curbing corruption before his term ends in 2022.
"I will concentrate the last remaining years of my term fighting corruption kasi hanggang ngayon, hindi humihina. Lumalakas pa lalo. Para na tuloy naging inutil ang mga opisyal ng bayan, na wala talagang magawa with the onslaught of corruption," he said.
(Until now, it has not weakened, it grows even stronger. It is as if officials are inutile, cannot do anything with the onslaught of corruption.)
"Hindi po ako naniniwala na wala akong magagawa. May magagawa ako," he added.
(I don't believe that I cannot do anything. I can do something.)
Duterte in the same speech directed the justice department to investigate the entire government for corruption.