Duterte warns BI personnel anew against extortion

Published September 29, 2019, 3:23 PM

by Gabriela Baron & Minka Klaudia Tiangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has warned anew the Bureau of Immigration (BI) against extorting money from foreigners, saying they would be “fired and may be killed.”

President Rodrigo Duterte (ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Duterte (ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

The President maintained that he appreciated the entry of foreign tourists and investors into the country, and deplores any harassment and extortion against them.

Duterte said he “hates” corruption and would “go out of my way to punish people who are into graft and corruption.”

“This Bureau of Immigration which has control over aliens in the country, they are under strict orders that they will be fired and may be killed afterwards,” Duterte said in a recent business gathering in Parañaque City.

“I do not want people destroying the government now because we are improving and that is why you guys are coming here. I want to make a personal guarantee that these things will never happen again just like maybe in the olden times,” he added.

Duterte also urged foreigners to slap the erring immigration official in the face and report any corruption incident to the proper authorities. He said they should create a scene to cause a “commotion” so such incident would eventually reach his office.

“When you enter the Philippines from the airport or even from getting a visa somewhere, and you would want to go to the Philippines just to see as a tourist, just to maybe make some studies, right at the moment at the airport and getting a visa, if you think that there is something wrong or if there is somebody asking for money, you slap him. Tell him that, ‘that is the order of your President,'” he said.

“And if you create a scene, there will be a commotion and everything, I will know. And if I would come to know about it, then I would call the government official in my office and with you and allow you to slap him,” he said.

To boost the campaign against corruption, Duterte said he was encouraging Filipinos, as well as foreigners in the country, to take a stand against oppression and other abuses in government.

“That is the only way where you can help me and you can help yourself from harassments, from oppressors, extortionists. Be assertive because whether you are a Filipino or an alien, you must stand for your rights,” he said.

He also encouraged foreigners, who have fallen victim to corrupt public officials, to report the incident to his office. He said he was willing to receive the complainant anytime and summon the concerned public official to his office.

“We are trying to do away with this culture of corruption and abuses of government. I would be willing to face you even during the night,” he said.

“The only reason why there is a lot of corruption in the Philippines is because we are not assertive. And Filipinos if they are asked money by those in government, they easily give because, one, they are afraid of being denied or delayed,” he said.

 
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