By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte said Tuesday that if he cannot remove Bureau of Customs (BOC) personnel allegedly involved in corruption because of security of tenure, he will transfer them to the Office of the President (OP) to fish in the Pasig River instead.
The President lamented Tuesday evening the lingering corruption in the Bureau but renewed his dedication to continue cleaning the BOC.
In his speech in Malacañang, Duterte said he will go after 100 more erring Customs personnel after he dealt with 64 other BOC officials and employees last month.
“Kaya ‘yang Customs wala, 64 wala na. I am going after the 100. Ito lahat puro corrupt ‘to. Tanggal ‘yan, 64 of them tanggal talaga. May 100 pa ako tatanggalin (All of them are corrupt. The 64 are already gone. I will go for another 100),” he said.
“Magpalagay ako ng building diyan – gym. Diyan sila mag… Paupuin ko lang lahat. Hindi mo man matanggal, security of tenure. O sige ayaw mo? Plantilla ka, o assign ka Office of the President (I will have a gym built here and place all of them there. If I can’t remove them because of security of tenure, they are plantilla, then I will assign them to the Office of the President),” he said.
“Dito sa likod, itong likod lang nito. Pasig naman ‘yan. Lagyan mo lang ng… May makuha ka pang tilapia diyan pati … Totoo, bilhin ko pa sa kanila (Here at the back is Pasig River. They can catch Tilapia there. I will even buy their catch from them),” he added.
“‘Yan ang trabaho nila. Kayo — kayong mga ano sabihin ninyo na (That will be their job. Those of them who will be saying) security of tenure, I will respect it. If I cannot remove you, then I will assign you to the Office of the President. Pero hindi dito. ‘Wag kang lumapit. P***** i**, doon ka sa labas. Opisina — bigyan kita bingwit (But not here. Do not come near here. Stay outside and I will give you your fishing rod and bait),” he continued.
The President said he directed Customs Commissioner Rey Guerrero to promote assistant section chiefs only if they are not corrupt.
“Sabi ko ‘yung next in rank ang ilagay mo, sabi ko kay Jagger. ‘Yung may assistant section chief man talaga, ‘di i-promote mo sila. ‘Yung deputy, ‘yung hindi corrupt (I told Jagger to promote the next in rank, the assistant section chief, the deputy, to the higher position. Those who are not corrupt),” he said.
Duterte reiterated his warning to Customs personnel to stop corruption in the Bureau.
“Ganun talaga ako, wala akong magawa. Mapipilitan talaga ako. So sabi ko stop corruption, stop corruption (My hands are tied. When I said stop corruption, I meant it),” he said.
“Ilang presidente na eh ayaw talaga ninyong huminto, gusto niyo brasuhan, eh ‘di brasuhan (Many presidents have come and gone but you don’t want to stop unless you are forced to. Then, I will give it to you),” he added.