By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte said that, aside from owning numbers games franchises, policemen and soldiers may engage in other legal businesses as long as they do not use their office to pressure the competition.
Duterte made the remark as he graced the 118th Police Service Anniversary Celebration in Camp Crame Friday evening.
In his speech, Duterte said there was no problem with policemen having millionaires for friends, and who can finance their corporation, as long as they do not use their influence.
“If you have friends who are millionaires and would finance a corporation, I do not see any reason why you should not be in that business,” he said.
“Ang hinihingi ko lang naman is walang gapangan (All I ask is there should be no cheating) and no oppression or pressure,” he added.
“Do not oppress your competitors as they will shout foul and then you will drag me into the picture,” he continued.
To avoid this, Duterte urged policemen to request a transfer to a different assignment so that they cannot exercise undue influence over their businesses.
“But as part of your honor, delicadeza, ask yourself to be assigned somewhere where you are not operating, or a participant, or an incorporator of a corporation doing business in your area,” he said.
“Pangit kasi tignan na ikaw ang chief of police diyan (It doesn’t look good if you are the chief of police there and you have a business), it’s operating. Look for somewhere else, the Philippines is too big,” he added.
The President then reminded cops to only engage in legal business, and to not cheat the government.
“Kung malinis lang ang negosyo ninyo (If your business is clean), if it’s clean, you don’t deprive the government of money due to the country and the people, okay sa akin (then it’s fine with me),” Duterte said.
“As long as there is, I said, no corruption in the awards and you do not use your public office to intimidate or to strike fear with the other competitors, I see no reason why you cannot be an incorporator of a [corporation],” he added.
Duterte also said that policemen are just like any other Filipino who are allowed to venture into a legal business. He, however, said that they should stay clean.
“Stay clean. And if you have to go to business to improve your lives, go ahead. Every Filipino is entitled to it,” he said.