PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said he fired two Malacañang officials over alleged corruption.
The President made this revelation in a speech at the World Trade Center in Pasay City on Thursday night but did not elaborate.
“I promised you [I will fight] corruption, I will stop it. I will stop it. I just fired two employees from Malacañang for making a call and suggesting that, you know, they were suggesting,” Duterte said, without naming names.
“I fired Cabinet members this early. Either you really stay clean, or you have to have clean house here. No corruption ako diyan,” he added.
This was not the first time Duterte announced to the public his decision to remove corrupt government officials.
In March, Peter Laviña was sacked as administrator of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) amid accusations that he pocketed NIA funds.
The President said he asked Laviña, his former campaign spokesman, to vacate his post.
Laviña’s forced resignation was followed by Duterte’s decision to remove Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno due to corruption allegations involving the country’s purchase of firetrucks from an Austrian firm.
Sueno maintained he was not corrupt and said the President may have been fed wrong information.
The President also sacked Cabinet Undersecretary Maia Chiara Halmen Reina Valdez for overruling National Food Authority Administrator Jason Aquino’s decision to suspend rice importation as it was still harvest season in the Philippines. Valdez denied the allegations.
In May, Duterte also fired Dangerous Drugs Board Chairman Benjamin Reyes for supposedly contradicting the government’s official data on drug addicts in the country.
The President also fired Sugar Regulatory Administration Chief Anna Rosario Paner for hiring consultants who were earning 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 he would fire government officials even with a “whiff” of corruption.
The President himself is facing investigation over his and his family’s wealth. He has maintained he was not hiding his wealth from the public.
He created an anti-corruption commission with broad powers to go after his appointees and other erring government officials.