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Duterte urges OFWs: ‘Make a scene’ vs corruption

By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 10:20 AM March 20, 2017
President Rodrigo Duterte (AP FILE PHOTO/ WONG MAYE-E)

President Rodrigo Duterte (AP FILE PHOTO/ WONG MAYE-E)

NAY PYI TAW, Burma (Myanmar) — Underscoring his campaign promise to stamp out graft and corruption, President Duterte in a speech advised overseas Filipino workers here to “be aggressive” and even to “make a scene” when confronted with corruption.

Apparently referring to stories of baggage pilferages and planting of bullets in Philippine airports, Duterte assured the Filipinos in Burma during his meeting with them: “Ngayon, kung mauwi kayo sa Pilipinas, wala na ‘yang bukas-bukas sa mga maleta ninyo, bagahe. I have prohibited it (Now, when you come home to the Philippines, nobody would open your baggage anymore.  I have prohibited it.).” He drew applause from around 200 attendees.

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“What needs to be done is for the Filipino to be assertive. Do not fall into the trap of the corrupt,” Duterte said in his speech to the Filipino community.

Assuring he’s already dealt with the Bureau of Immigration and Bureau of Customs, Duterte advised the OFWs to “create a scene” if they encounter corruption with these agencies.

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“If they force it, just shout at them immediately. Just show assertiveness. You have to help me,” the President said in a mix of Tagalog and English.

He advised the OFWs to call 8888, the hotline for corruption complaints. “And if you want, you can go to Malacañang, I will summon them and slap them in front of you,” Duterte quipped, to laughter and applause.

“Everything that’s about corruption will be given the first instance of attention sa opisina ko (in my office). That’s my promise to you….There will never be graft and corruption in my government. I will not allow it,” Duterte said.

Duterte said he has warned his own Cabinet and appointees, some of whom joined him in the Burma trip, that at “the first whiff of corruption….let’s just go separate ways so people don’t need to be doubtful anymore.”

“Recently, even a guy who was with me since 1988, during the campaign when I ran for the first time as mayor, talagang sinabi ko, you leave the government. He was just an appointee for about how many months? Hindi nga umabot ng lima eh (He did not even reach five months),” Duterte said, apparently referring to former campaign manager and ex-irrigation chief Peter Laviña.

“Marami po akong kasalanan. (I have many sins) I have had my faults in life but p**** i**, ‘yung pera, wala ako diyan. Wala talaga ako diyan….walang dumadating sa opisina, sa table ko na contracts in government… (…but mother whore, when it comes to money, count me out.  I have no interest there.  No money or contract comes to my office or is put on my table.  Mostly, I sign appointments, ‘yun lang (that’s it),” Duterte said.

Later in the speech, Duterte addressed allegations he had P211 billion in his bank accounts: “Wala akong perang ganon. Kung sakali man, may maglabas diyan, anybody is authorized in the government pati Central Bank — galing na sa bunganga ko — buksan ninyo…Kung may-ari ako ng ganong kalaking pera, magre-resign ako bukas.” (I don’t have that kind of money.  If somebody brings out something against me, anybody is authorized in government, also the Central Bank — the order is coming from my mouth itself — open it up.  If it comes out that I own such a huge amount of money, I would resign tomorrow.)  SFM/rga

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TAGS: bribery, Bureau of Customs, corruption, Government contracts, government offices, Graft, hidden wealth, Ill-gotten wealth, Philippine Government, Philippine president, Politics, Rodrigo Duterte
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