By Ellson Quismorio
Majority and Minority congressmen alike have hailed President Rodrigo Duterte’s mass firing of Armed Forces of the Philippines-Health Services Command (AFP-HSC) officials, saying it speaks volumes of the government’s “fearless” anti-corruption campaign.
Lauding this action from the Chief Executive were Majority members Surigao del Sur 2nd district Rep. Johnny Pimentel, Quezon City 2nd district Rep. Winston Castelo, and Isabela 1st district Rep. Rodito Albano.
“It just shows that President Duterte has the political will to get rid of corruption in our government. If we want to become a developed nation we must first eradicate corruption. Therefore, the President is in the right direction to fight corruption and I fully support him in this drive,” Pimentel said.
“We commend the President on his fearless campaign against corruption. This will send a strong signal to scalawags out there,” Castelo said.
Albano, for his part, said Duterte’s sacking of the 20 allegedly corrupt AFP-HSC officials was a “great move.”
“[The President] doesn’t joke about corruption,” he added.
All three lawmakers are Duterte’s party-mates over at Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan’s (PDP-Laban).
While Duterte is mostly known for his abhorrence of illegal drugs and criminality, he loathes corruption in government just as much and has vowed to eradicate it.
Setting a precedent
Even Senior Minority Deputy Leader, AKO-Bicol Party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin, agreed that the President was right to show the military officials the door. However, he reckoned that it’s high time the Duterte administration makes an example out of those caught in the anti-corruption drive.
“It goes to show that he is serious in his corruption drive. But the said advocacy should not stop from there,” Garbin said.
“Dapat meron nakakasuhan at nakukulong to set a precedent para hindi na panggayahan (Someone should get charged and jailed to set a precedent and discourage others from emulating them),” he said.
The AFP-HSC officials headed by Brig. Gen. Edwin Leo Torrelavega were ordered relieved by Malacañang due to what Presidential spokesman Harry Roque described as “institutional corruption” at V. Luna Medical Center.
The acts of corruption reportedly had to do with anomalous equipment purchases for the military hospital.