Duterte to dismiss more customs officials, reminds new appointees of role to fight corruption

Published July 8, 2019, 9:10 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Genalyn Kabiling

Four more government officials are next on the chopping block for alleged corruption.

President Duterte has announced that he plans to dismiss more officials in the Bureau of Customs (BoC) this week as part of his campaign to clean up the bureaucracy.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (JOEY DALUMPINES / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (JOEY DALUMPINES / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Hindi pa mahinto itong corruption. Kasasabi ko lang, nandito na naman. May apat pa this week customs na naman. Ubusin ko talaga ‘yan [Corruption has not stopped. I said stop but here it goes again. There are four from customs this week. I will finish them all off],” the President said during the oath-taking of new government appointees in Malacañang.

“Sabi nila hindi ma-kontrol ang corruption? Eh tingnan natin [They said corruption cannot be controlled? Let’s see],” he added.

Dismayed with rampant corruption in the revenue-collecting agency, Duterte earlier warned that he might deploy more soldiers to replace corrupt officials in the customs bureau. He also reiterated his order to Customs chief Rey Leonardo Guerrero to shoot those involved in smuggling operations.

In his speech at the Palace, the President has renewed his warning to government officials, including the new appointees, not to commit corruption and other abuses.

He also directed the officials to reduce red tape in the bureaucracy, saying they should resign if they could not deliver prompt and efficient public service. “If you can’t do it simply resign,” he said.

Duterte said he has regretted running for president after uncovering the gravity of the problem of corruption in government. He admitted that he has become frustrated since corruption has become “embedded” in government.

“Okay yan EJKs (extrajudicial killing). Huwag lang ‘yan corruption,” he said.

He also reminded the new appointees to uphold good governance and promote accountability and transparency at work. He said the “very first task” of these officials was to help him restore and preserve the people’s faith and trust in the government.

“I cannot stress this enough: Our noble duty is to serve our country with the highest standard of moral integrity. As public officials under this administration, you are called to uphold good governance and embody efficiency, transparency and accountability in all your dealings within the bureaucracy,” he said.

“I therefore expect that each of you will treat your appointment not as an honor, but as an opportunity to lead, serve and effect real and positive change in our country,” he said.

He also urged the new officials to do their best to institute lasting reforms that will improve the services in their agency.

“But a dependable and reliable government is not enough. You are here to ensure that our bureaucracy is free of corruption and other illegal activities. Your primary goal is therefore to help me in realizing our goal of eliminating the ill that have weakened the people to act and to complain what’s going on,” he said.

 
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