Malacañang’s other battle cry: ‘Sibak, Sibak, Sibak’

Published July 12, 2018, 7:26 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Genalyn Kabiling

The administration’s anti-corruption drive is making headway under President Duterte’s “Sibak, Sibak, Sibak” battle cry, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque speaks during a press briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacanang, Friday. (CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque 

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said several government officials have been fired while other local executives face charges for alleged corruption amid the President’s effort to weed out corrupt public servants.

“The Duterte administration has made significant gains to stamp out corruption and promote good governance in the country. ‘Sibak, Sibak, Sibak’ has been the President’s consistent battlecry with officials including those holding Cabinet rank not spared from the Administration’s anti-corruption drive,” Roque said.

The President’s campaign against corruption has also reached the local level.

Roque cited that 17 local officials have been slapped with graft and other charges in court over the alleged environmental violations and illegal development on Boracay island.

He said 186 local officials were withdrawn from police deputation while 57 complaints against local officials were investigated.

The government has also acted on complaints from the public coursed through the government’s 8888 hotline. More than 20,000 transactions were made with an average resolution rate of 93.2% in 2017, according to Roque.

The Palace sought to highlight the gains in the President’s campaign against corruption ahead of his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23.

In recent months, the President has fired government officials for alleged corruption, excessive foreign travels, and other abuses of power and warned that he would dismiss more.

Among those dismissed by the President were Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) Chair Patricia Licuanan, Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) administrator Marcial Amaro III, and Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP) chair Terry Ridon.

Also recently fired were Philippine Health Insurance Corp. ( PhilHealth) interim head Celestina Ma. Jude dela Serna, Customs Deputy Commissioner Noel Prudente, Government Corporate Counsel Rudolf Philip Jurado, and Transportation Undersecretary Mark Tolentino.

The Palace earlier said it was up to the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate officials sacked by the President for alleged corruption.