MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday issued a fresh warning against government employees and officials who are allegedly involved in corrupt practices.
Duterte, in his weekly meeting with Cabinet officials, read names of dismissed and suspended employees of the Bureau of Immigration and the Department of Public Works and Highways.
He warned those facing charges that he can replace them anytime, especially now that there are a lot of people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
Duterte, likewise, told them to just leave government service if they want to earn money.
"Kung gusto ninyong magkapera, umalis na lang kayo sa gobyerno. Magnegosyo, magnegosyo kayo sa labas," he said.
(If you want to earn money, leave the government. Establish a business outside.)
Duterte warned those who were suspended that he will make sure that get get dismissed from the service next time they get involved in any misconduct.
"Lahat 'yung suspended, next time magkaroon kayo maski simple, or simple neglect of duty or whatever, if it falls as a ground for dismissal, papaalisin ko na kayo," he said, referring specifically to those he personally appointed.
(All those who are suspended, if you commit any simple neglect of duty or whatever, if it falls as a ground for dismissal, I will have you dismissed.)
Duterte on Monday summoned to the Malacañang Palace around 40 Immigration personnel, who were all suspended or facing charges due to the "pastillas" scam, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
Roque also said the President told said officers to swallow rolled wads of cash.
The scam allegedly allows the illegal entry of Chinese nationals or the departure of trafficked people at the airport. It is named after grease money rolled up in paper, resembling the local milk candy.
In 2016, Duterte won the presidency campaigning on a promise to fight corruption, crime and illegal drugs.
But his administration has been dogged by scandals and allegations of graft and cover-ups in state agencies ranging from prisons, the state insurer, airports and customs, to police and the drugs enforcement agency, few of which led to convictions or high-profile resignations.
Last month, Duterte issued a memorandum directing the justice department to look into anomalies at state agencies until the end of his term in 2022. It gives the ministry the power to decide what allegations to investigate and to work with other agencies.