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Duterte to fire 5 more gov’t execs

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte leads the ceremonial valve opening for the oil and gas production of the Alegria Oil Field during its ceremonial commencement in Alegria, Cebu on May 19, 2018.
ARCEL VALDERRAMA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to fire five more top government officials, including the government corporate counsel, over allegations of corruption.

“Just recently, I asked someone to resign. I just fired the … maybe I’ll fire the corporate counsel tomorrow,”  the President said.

“I made the Department of Public Works and Highways assistant secretary resign. He’s my brod in law school, but I made him resign, too,” he added.

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The President made the remarks on Saturday during the ceremonial opening of the oil and gas production facility of the Alegria oil field in Cebu.

Rudolf Philip Jurado, a former lawyer of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, was appointed as head of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) in April 2017.

Jurado has been opposing the approval of a House bill abolishing the OGCC and merging its functions with the Office of the Solicitor General.

Even brod in law school

The President warned his appointees not to be tempted by corruption, as it was “not a vice of his.”

“I made a lot of people resign including one of my law school brods yesterday, so don’t bring that up to me. When I hired you, you already knew my character. I told you, ‘Don’t. Don’t be corrupt because corruption is not a vice of mine,’” he said.

In a speech later on Saturday night before Cebu’s local chief executives at the Waterfront Hotel there, the President mentioned anew his plan to fire five more government officials for alleged corruption activities.

But the President did not identify the officials he would fire soon.

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“I’d just want to talk to him before I do that. This undersecretary … I’ll just fire all of them, and they are about five [on] the list. I’d like to add more,” he said in English and Filipino.

He added that he sacked a government official for seeking a favor from one of his siblings.

The President has previously warned against using his name or that of his relatives and family to get favors in government, as he will immediately reject it.

Sister’s help

“Now, this guy, he ran afoul within the department and sought the help of, I think my sister,” he said.

The President said he ordered the sacking of the government official for violating his order not to talk to the President’s family to gain favor.

“I said, ‘Remove him, fire him out.’ His violation? He violated my order that if I’m mentioned or they talk to my relatives, even on a conversation about a project only, I’ll  really kick you out,” he said.

The President reiterated his order for officials never to drop his name or any of his relatives in discussions over government projects.

He said he was being careful about being painted as corrupt.

“I’m not pretending to be a saint or I’m the most decent person,” the President said.

“But you can ask anybody, anybody from Davao if I asked for even P1 from anyone,” he added, referring to his days as Davao City mayor.

Embedded into the bones

The President admitted, though, that he could not eliminate corruption because it had already become embedded “into the bones” of government officials.

Some people might think holding public office was a chance to make money illegally, especially since government pay was low, the President said.

But a low pay was “what you get for joining government,” he said.

Fed up

The President said if anyone used his or any of his relatives’ names to win a favor “consider it denied.”

In a speech during the opening ceremonies of the Philippine National Games 2018 at Cebu City Sports Center, he said he was fed up with officials he appointed who only turned out to be scalawags.

In his speech, the President said  two officials were using his name, his common-law wife, Honeylet, his children and cousins to apparently solicit for funds. With a report from Morexette B . Erram

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TAGS: corrupt government officials, Rodrigo Duterte, Rudolf Philip Jurado, war on corruption
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