In line with his promise of creating a graft- and corrupt-free Philippines, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has ordered the dismissal of two officials in government for reportedly delaying the construction of a major infrastructure project in Metro Manila.
During his interview with Erwin Tulfo’s “Sa Totoo Lang” aired on state-run PTV 4 on Friday, October 13, President Duterte reprimanded two officials of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) for sitting on needed documents for the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project for an entire year.
“Itong dalawa, may pinagawa akong dismissal. Hindi ko nagustuhan. Kasi ang Cabinet members are only allowed one month to act on the papers. Ang mga directors, ulitin ko, 15 days lang kayo. May dalawa dito na isang taon na halos ‘yung papel,” the President said.
“At ‘yun pa namang papel na ‘yung construction firm, na siya ang gagawa ng bridge across San Juan… Ang sabi ko sa kanila, kasi madaliin nga. Ito, almost one day — one year rather — walang ginawa kung hindi mag-upo doon sa papeles,” he added.
President Duterte did not disclose the names of the officials, whom he already had a meeting with regarding the delay of the turnover of papers. He said they sent him a formal letter of apology following the meeting.
However, the President said what the two officials did was unacceptable and a violation of the country’s anti-graft and corrupt practices law.
“Masama talaga ang ginawa nitong dalawa. It delayed the project. So, for almost so many months, nagmamadali nga tayo so that we can have the mobility of the people of Metro Manila moving faster. Itong dalawa, inupuan ‘yan almost one year,” he said.
“Kaya sabi ko, while they sent me a letter apologizing for the delay, I’m telling them now — dito ngayon sa TV — I have fired you actually,” he added.
The President stressed that under Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, public officials are prohibited from causing any party, including the government, undue injury.
The same law prohibits public officials from neglecting or refusing to act on relevant matters or requests before their respective offices without a valid justification.
The Chief Executive then reiterated his commitment to cleanse the government of graft and corruption, which he said, is the key to achieving a more inclusive economic development.
He assured the public anew that corruption and political oppression would no longer thrive in the country and disrupt the growth of the economy.
“I have fired so many government employees… Talagang ‘yung sabi kong ayaw ko ng corruption, ayaw ko ng corruption,” President Duterte said.
He also vowed to go after unscrupulous business corporations and oligarchs who use their power to evade tax obligations and debts to the government.
“Kaya sabi ko nung na-elect ako, bantay kayo kasi wala akong utang na loob sa inyo… And even my friends na ‘yung nagbigay maski konti, anuhin ko talaga. Kung talagang totoo kita, huwag mo akong sirain. Magbayad ka para walang masabi ang tao,” he said.
“I am ready to die for my country… Pero kung makita ko, sabi ko, ‘yung bayan ko na magti-tilt into chaos at ma-destabilize talaga, mag-declare na nga ako ng revolutionary government,” he further warned.
President Duterte also encouraged the Filipino public not to hesitate in reporting their corruption complaints against any agency in government.
“Look, ang sinabi ko nga sa inyo, meron naman ‘yang 8888. All you have to do is just to, sabihin mo, ‘Si Director Ernesto Santos or Ernesto Maceda or Ernesto Vergara, ito director siya, ang papel ko ganito, inupuan niya.’ Period,” he said.
“‘Di pagka umaga, magdating ‘yan dito sa briefer ko ‘yan. Itong mga ganito. So, ‘pag maglabas ‘yan ng mga briefer ko, babasahin ko isa-isa,” the President added. ###PND