Duterte renews warning to gov’t workers on the take: Stop It!
DAVAO CITY – Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte categorically stated on Wednesday that he never accepted money from mining companies or government contractors as doing so would mean he would have to repay them in some other ways.
“I assure you that I never really accepted any money from any mining company. And even the big-time (firms) having contracts (with government). Lucio Tan for example offered money … I purposely avoided him. It (receiving money) is a bad practice,” he said in a speech in Sarangani province during the oath-taking of Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao.
Duterte said that even during the elections, he turned down offers from people with vested interests.
“Usually elections are … it’s difficult to be tied up,” Duterte, who have served as Davao City mayor without have been sued for corruption, said.
He said government officials should stop accepting money from clients and live the simple life of a government worker.
He cited the Bureau of Internal Revenue as “an institution known to be corrupt since time immemorial.”
“Stop it now,” he said.
“Customs, you’re just like the BIR. On the side, you make money aside from your salaries, which you regard as your allowance. We should not fool each other anymore. Let’s be frank. Change your lifestyle, less expense. Maybe if you (used to) buy a car every other year, make it five years (from now on) and try to be just an ordinary government worker,” he said.
Duterte also urged government workers to be honest at all times even if it would cost them their jobs.
“If you really want to help your country, now is the time that I am here. Just tell me everything. All that I ask of you is do not lie to me,” he said.
“Even if you’re a military man, a policeman, if I ask you what the situation is and who did it, just tell me the truth and I will think if you’re fit to be killed or not…just like that…that’s what I want,” he said in jest.
Duterte also defended anew his choice of Cabinet members saying they were “well-chosen.”
Some of Duterte’s Cabinet members had been highly criticized such as lawyer Salvador Panelo and Professor Jose David Lapuz, the incoming commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education.
Under his six-year presidency, Duterte said education and health would be among his priorities.
He said that his health program would be massive and reiterated that he would devote the “entire earnings of Pagcor” for health needs of the people, such as medicines.
He also reiterated the need to restore the death penalty, not as a deterrent to crime or to spook criminals, but to make them pay for what they did.
“Whether you like to commit a crime or not, that’s not my business. Death penalty to me is a retribution. You pay for what you did,” he said.
Pacquiao pledged his all-out support to Duterte’s programs and policies.
“This afternoon, I declare my wholehearted support to our new President, Rodrigo Duterte,” he declared. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.