Duterte claims he kicked an undersecretary in the face due to corruption
MANILA, Philippines — Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday claimed to have kicked a department undersecretary in the face for allegedly attempting to commit corruption.
During his speech at the launching of the digital innovation and modernization of the Philippine Post Corporation (Philpost), Duterte said the undersecretary had supposedly tried to pocket as much as P500,000 from an agency needing P5 million.
He said Executive Secretary Salvador “Bingbong” Medialdea had witnessed the incident.
“May isang undersecretary na nilugaw ‘yung opisina. May isang agency na nangangailangan ng P5 million. Alam mo ginawa? Siya nagsabi, ‘ako magbigay, bigay ko dito.’ Alam mo na kung saan, sa budget. Tapos nagsumbong ‘yung babae doon, sabi, ‘Bigyan daw nila ako ng P6 million, kukunin nila ‘yung P500,000’,” he recounted.
(There’s an undersecretary. When an agency is needing P5 million, he/she volunteered to give money. You know already where it will come from — the budget. Then the woman there told me, she said, “They said they will give me P6 million but I have to give P500,000 to them.”)
“Noong nalaman ko, tinawag ko doon sa… At ‘yung sa harap ko naka — may platform kasi diyan sa ano clubhouse, sinipa ko ‘yung mukha talaga. Nandiyan si Bingbong kasi kasama niya sa law office noon. ‘Yun ang — extreme ano ako eh. Wala akong patawad diyan,” Duterte added.
(When I learned of it, I called the undersecretary. And when he/she was in front of me — there was a platform in the clubhouse — I kicked him/her in the face. Bingbong was there because they were together in a law office before. That’s how extreme I am. I am unforgiving in times like that.)
During his speech, he also recounted how he summoned Immigration officials who were suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman in connection to the “Pastillas” corruption scheme and had intended to let them eat “pastillas” — a sweet delicacy rolled into a paper sheet — except that money and not the edible sweets was inside.
Fighting corruption was one of Duterte’s major campaigns in his administration but it was hounded with a lot of scandals from the Pastillas controversy in the Bureau of Immigration to corruption accusations against officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, the late release of funds for COVID-19 health workers, and issues involving the Department of Public Works and Highways.
READ: Corruption under Duterte: A record to kill for
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