Duterte fires 2 Palace execs for corruption

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday he had fired two Malacañang officials over alleged corruption.
The President made the revelation in remarks at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, without going into details.

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“I promised you corruption, I will stop it. I will stop it. I just fired two employees from Malacañang,” Duterte said, without naming names.

“I [have]fired Cabinet members this early. Either you really stay clean, or you have to have a clean house here. No corruption ako diyan (over there),” he added.

This was not the first time Duterte bared his firing of government officials in public.

In March, Peter Laviña, Duterte’s campaign spokesman, was sacked as administrator of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) amid accusations he demanded commissions from contractors.

Laviña’s exit was followed by Duterte’s decision to remove Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno because of corruption allegations over the purchase of fire trucks from an Austrian firm.

Sueno claimed he was not corrupt and said the President could have been fed wrong information.

The President later sacked Cabinet Undersecretary Maia Chiara Halmen Reina Valdez for overruling National Food Authority Administrator Jason Aquino’s decision to suspend rice importations.

In May, Duterte fired Dangerous Drugs Board Chairman Benjamin Reyes for supposedly contradicting the government’s official data on drug addicts.

Recently, the President fired Sugar Regulatory Administration chief Anna Rosario Paner for hiring consultants for as much as P200,000 monthly.

Duterte won the presidency on a platform of eradicating corruption in government and ending the country’s illegal drug problem.

He has repeatedly said that he would fire government officials even with just a “whiff” of corruption.

The President himself is facing an Ombudsman investigation over his and his family’s wealth, but insists he did not hide his assets from the public.

Duterte this week formed an anti-corruption commission with broad powers to go after his appointees and other erring government officials.

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