PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s firing spree is not yet over.
As part of his “purging regime,” the President said he would continue to sack government officials who waste people’s money by going on frequent junkets.
During Friday night’s birthday bash of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Duterte reiterated his vow to fulfill his campaign promises within the single term given to him.
“Kasi corruption talaga nandiyan (Because corruption really is there) and I’m starting it with those guys who have been wasting money, going in and out of the country as if they owned the money and for nothing,” Duterte said in his speech.
“They go out every convocation, convention, powwow, seminar, labas ng labas (they keep on going out of the country). And for those who have traveled more than 12 [times], you have to go,” he added.
Duterte however said he was not totally banning government officials from going overseas, but they would have to follow the memorandum order issued by the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) last week.
“Local government will enforce it. You have to — be sure to give me well ahead in time, your itinerary and give me a synopsis or — just a short memo of what you intend to do and what is it all about,” he said.
The President had ordered the OES to issue a memorandum order prohibiting all government officials under the Executive branch to make foreign trips, except when they travel at their own expense, and if the country will greatly benefit from the said foreign trips.
“It’s part of the campaign against corruption,” Duterte said.
The President has axed several officials because of junkets and frequent travels abroad. These include drugs board chief Dionisio Santiago, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor chief John Mark Terry Ridon, and Development Academy of the Philippines President Elba Cruz.
On Thursday, Duterte announced that he would sack “this week” a “chairman of an entity in government” and a “set of policemen,” including three generals, over corruption issues hurled against them.
But Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Saturday he could not reveal the identities of high-ranking officials and policemen to be booted out, citing Duterte’s “reasons” to delay the announcement.
“Let’s just say that a decision has been made, [concerning the public official and policemen who will be fired]. There’s a reason why it hasn’t been announced but I will be announcing it very soon,” he said.
“The President has his reasons. Let’s leave it at that. What’s important is he is serious about his resolve to deal with the problem of corruption in government,” Roque added.