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Syndicates behind rigging of gov’t bids are like gangsters—Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte INQUIRER.net file photo

Stressing his promise to curb corruption, President Duterte yesterday said he wanted to include the members of a syndicate manipulating biddings for public projects in the category of drug peddlers to make it easier to take care of them.

Mr. Duterte made the statement as he once more voiced his objection to the practice of awarding public contracts to the lowest bidder.

“I don’t know who invented that goddamned process of buying things, procurement. You know, the lowest bid is the source of all corruption, especially in local governments,” Duterte said at the Kapampangan Food Festival in Pampanga.

According to him, there was a syndicate in the country who does nothing but look for public biddings to manipulate.

“They’re like gangsters, if you see them, the way they banter around,” he said.

What they do is to collude with others to allow a firm win the project, and then ask for payment for their role, he said.

“It is unlawful to kill, pero gusto ko sila ilagay na sa category ng drugs para mas madali, kasi pag sinabi na ‘durugista yan,’ idagdag na lang yung pangalan niya doon sa listahan ng human rights, di okay na. Pakialam ko ba dyan kung mamatay kayo o hindi

(It’s unlawful to kill, but you want to put them in the category of drugs so that it would be easier, because if you say, ‘they’re drug users,’ their names could be added to the list of human rights. Then that would be okay. What do I care if they die or not? ),” he said.

He vowed to stick to his campaign against corruption.

“No corruption and we can… you better believe it because I’m going to do it,” he said.

Human rights groups and other international players have criticized the Duterte administration for the thousands of killings in its campaign against illegal drugs, though Philippine officials have denied that it was policy to kill drug suspects.

Duterte himself has contended that his order to police was to defend themselves if they are met with violent resistance during drug operations. /jpv

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