Duterte warns DAR officials: Shape up or prepare to get fired
MANILA, Philippines —President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday warned officials from the land conversion office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), who delay the processing of lands for the government’s land reform program, to shape up or prepare to get fired.
Speaking before the annual assembly of the Provincial Union of Leaders Against Illegality (PULI) in the province of Quezon, Duterte recalled how he ordered his former presidential aide Christopher “Bong” Go to follow up on a land conversion request which took the office two years to process.
The President asked the officials to “better prepare” or face complaints and even “death” if they continue to delay such requests.
“Tinatanong ko si Bong ‘yung conversion, from one of agriculture to commercial yata took them two years to process it (I asked Bong Go about it, conversion of agricultural land to commercial land took them two years to process),” Duterte recalled.
“Kung nakikinig sila ngayon d’yan sa conversion office ng DAR, better prepare because you’re fired. Kung hindi kayo mag-ano, kasuhan ko kayo. Pag hindi kayo natakot sa kaso, patayin ko na lang kayo,” he added.
(If they are listening there at the conversion office of DAR, better prepare because you’re fired. If you can’t do it, I’ll file a case against you. If you don’t fear this, I’ll just kill you.)
At the same event, Duterte also vowed to speed up the distribution of lands to land reform beneficiaries in Quezon province.
“Dito po, I was trying to figure out if nandito si (John) Castriciones, the DAR Secretary, kasi gusto ko siyang tanungin — and I hope he would be around next time — na gusto ko siyang tanungin if there’s still available lands, government lands ang uunahin ko dito banda sa inyo,” Duterte said.
(Here, I was trying to figure out if Castriciones, the DAR Secretary, is here because I want to ask him — and I hope he would be around next time — if there’s still available lands, government lands. That’s my priority here.)
“Kasi ‘yan ang the most fertile — isyu ng komunista. Diyan sila eh (Because that’s the most fertile — that’s the issue of the communists. That’s why they are there),” he added.
Duterte has regarded land reform as the cornerstone of the government’s solution to the country’s longstanding communist insurgency problem.
He also vowed to distribute all government-owned lands to land reform beneficiaries during his term. /ee
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