Duterte may fire another official next week
President Duterte on Thursday said he may fire another government official for alleged corruption when he returns to Malacañang next week.
At the inauguration of a bridge-widening project in Davao City, the President reiterated his warning to his appointees not to seek favors from his relatives.
“Stay away from them because the moment I learn about it, it’s the end. Out you go,” he said in Filipino.
“That has always been my warning for everyone. I might fire another one when I return to Malacañang,” he added.
The President issued the warning days after sacking Assistant Transportation Secretary Mark Tolentino, who supposedly talked with Mr. Duterte’s sister about the Mindanao railway project.
Last weekend, Mr. Duterte said he might dismiss five more government officials. He declined to identify them.
He, however, ordered Assistant Justice Secretary Moslemen Macarambon Sr. and Assistant Public Works Secretary Tingagun Umpa to resign.
Macarambon was accused of colluding with gold and jewelry smugglers at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Umpa, on the other hand, was accused of asking for commissions from contractors in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
In his speech on Thursday, the President singled out Tolentino for discussing the Mindanao railway project with his sister.
“Even the discussion of that Mindanao railway, it’s still in the blueprint. But the fact that this assistant secretary talked it over with my sister, even if just a conversation … I told them not to do it, because I really don’t like it,” he said.
He lamented that most of the appointees that he had fired were colleagues and friends from his days as mayor of Davao City.
“Sadly, almost all were my appointees and my friends, and who were with me during the mayorship days,” he said.
‘Don’t talk to my family’
“They may not know me, they may not be from Davao. I told them, do not talk to anybody especially my family, my wife, my daughter, my sons or any relatives of mine, my siblings. Don’t let them talk to you.”
During a recent speech in Cebu, he also hinted at firing government corporate counsel Rudolf Philip Jurado for alleged corruption.
Days before in Negros, he said he would sack the “head of an agency” directly involved in the approval of gambling franchises.
“If you are granted a free port, you begin to abuse it by issuing so many franchises for gambling. Everything goes under regulation. I have to limit gambling, I hate it. —WITH A REPORT FROM ALLAN NAWAL
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