PRESIDENT-elect Rodrigo Duterte onTuesday night presented to the public the members of his Cabinet who will support his mission to stamp out corruption in government and lick the problem of illegal drugs.
At a news conference immediately after his first Cabinet meeting in Davao City, Duterte identified particular government agencies that he said are corrupt, including the Philippine National Police (PNP) whose officials from top to bottom are allegedly involved in illegal activities.
“The BIR [Bureau of Internal Revenue], Bureau of Customs and LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board] [they are all]corrupt… [The] PNP, [it is]corrupt,” he said.
Duterte vowed to stop the practice of PNP officials tagging along their own “staff” wherever they are assigned.
“You do not have to bring your own people… Magdadala ng mga kawatan [You bring your
thieves]. It has to stop,” he pointed out.
The President said he is aware of certain malpractices in the police organization, including extortion.
According to Duterte, he will encourage the killing of anyone who may be involved in illegal drugs.
Toward this end, he will make use of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and its branches.
“Kahit general ka ng [PNP], uutusan ko ang private ng military, barilin mo ‘yan [Even if you are a PNP general, I will order the military to shoot you],” the President, currently the mayor of Davao City, said.
“The order is dead or alive… They know when it is lawful or unlawfull to take a man’s life. I don’t want to see dead policemen or agents,” Duterte added.
According to him, his resolve is ruled by the people’s mandate for him to employ harsher and more drastic measures to end corruption and the proliferation of illegal drugs.
In fact, he said, he can order the killing of 100 drug personalities as he will dangle millions in reward money before those who will complete the task.
“They put me as President to stop corruption and drugs. It is very clear to everybody. The message is that the people do not want corruption and their money being put in some people’s pockets,” Duterte pointed out.
He said the military will play a very important role in the war against illegal drugs.
Also, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was ordered to do “house cleansing.”
Duterte said he has instructed his incoming NBI chief to “personally do the killing” of any agent of the bureau who will be found to be hooked or involved in the illegal drug trade.
“[If an NBI agent strays, I will tell the NBI chief that] I want him to kill the agent personally and I will give him the P3 million [reward]… P3 million for the top echelon, P2 million for the lower [supervisor]and for [lower supervisor]P1 million. [For] ordinary [suspect, P50,000. I have enough money left,” he added.
“Do not destroy my country because I will kill you. Don’t destroy the youth of my country because I will kill you,” Duterte said.
The incoming President also vowed to ask Congress to remove the probation for drug suspects and drunk drivers, saying these people endanger the lives of others.
He will also ask the Supreme Court to stop the practice of issuing temporary restraining orders (TROs)which, he claimed, only works in favor of corrupt judges.
“Issuing TROs simply means money for the judges. They have to stop it. When I certify a certain project as President, [if there’s a go-signal from me]it means there’s no corruption,” Duterte said.
Duterte also on Tuesday held a confidential meeting with members of his Cabinet at the Department of Public Works and Highway’s compound in Barangay Panacan, Davao City, where the participants were asked to turn off their cellular phones and their aides restricted to a holding area.
Present during the meeting were personalities who had been previously picked by Duterte to fill up his Cabinet, including four who were nominated by the National Democratic Front (NDF).
Those who attended the meeting were Duterte’s Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea; Presidential Spokeman Salvador Panelo; presumptive secretaries Rafael Mariano for Agrarian Reform; Emmanuel Piñol, Agriculture; Benjamin Diokno, Budget; Prof. Leonor Briones, Education; Alfonso Cusi, Energy; Carlos Dominguez, Finance; Perfecto Yasay Jr., Foreign Affairs; Mike Sueno, Interior and Local Government; Catalino Cuy, Interior and Local Government Undersecretary; Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd, Justice; Silvestre Bello 3rd, Labor and Employment; and Delfin Lorenzana, National Defense.
The other presumptive officials present were Public Works and Highways incoming chief Mark Villar; Fortunato dela Peña for Science and Technology; Judy Taguiwalo for Social Welfare and Development; and Arthur Tugade for Transportation and Communications.
Also invited were Dante Gierran, NBI director; National Economic and Development Authority executive director Ernesto Pernia; National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.; Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza; incoming PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa; Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya; Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr.; Solicitor General Jose Calida; Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) incoming chairman Andrea Domingo; Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Mike Diño; LTFRB head Martin Delgra; and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Isidro Lapena.
Completing the list were National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council incoming head Ricardo Jalad; Bureau of Immigration (BI) director Jaime Morente; BIR Commissioner Cesar Dulay; Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Edgar Galvante; and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) chief Alex Monteagudo.
Earlier, it was reported that former party-list Rep. Liza Maza was to head the DSWD and that Taguiwalo would be the chief of the Commission on Higher Education.