The Duterte administration has refused to disclose the names of the 92 people fired this month as a result of the government’s anti-corruption drive.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella instead said that firing people is not done in batches and thus, will not affect government operations.
“At present, no breakdown is readily available. The President’s remark underscores that there are no sacred cows in the Duterte administration. These officials came from different agencies of the government, mostly regulatory bodies, where there is an interface between the public and private sectors,” Abella said in a statement.
The 92 fired this month alone, according to President Duterte, are officials and personnel of the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Land Transportation Office.
Abella said the duties of those sacked can be performed by their assistants.
“Any whiff of corruption, particularly those who serve at the pleasure of the President, means suspension or termination of service in government. In view of this, we assure our people that in cases where heads have been suspended or terminated, day-to-day government operations will remain unhampered,” Abella added.
President Duterte is pushing for the abolition of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) due to corruption, especially in the light of the suicide of its former director, Francisco “Jun” Villa Jr.
Villa took his life in November 2016 amid escalating pressure to approve P400 million worth of procurement contracts for a certain Jose Morelos without public bidding.
Recent congressional investigations on Villa’s suicide revealed that Chairman Jose Vicente Salazar of the ERC did not want to investigate the circumstances leading to the suicide of Villa.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has filed House Bill 5020 seeking the abolition of the ERC.