Duterte to gov’t officials: Don’t be corrupt, I’ll sniff you out

Published January 8, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Rodrigo Duterte is ready to use government resources, including intelligence units, to sniff out public officials involved in corruption, and said government officials should avoid corruption because he will eventually know their offenses, given the huge government machinery at his disposal.

President Rodrigo Duterte  (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Duterte (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Hinihingi ko sa inyo huwag na huwag talaga kayong magkamali (I am asking you not to make a mistake). I am not threatening. I am just saying avoid corruption or even a whisper of it, because I will start to smell around,” he said at the oath-taking ceremony of government officials in Malacañang Wednesday. “I have the entire machinery of the military, and the intelligence community especially, to find out.”

The President, however, refused to specify his moves to find out those involved in corruption. “Well, there are things that we do which I cannot tell you in public, because I will go to prison if I do it…Pero I will know. I will know, pati ‘yung lahat ng ano mo (even your secrets), I will know, so just avoid wrongdoing,” he said.

As they began their tenure in government, Duterte also reminded the new officials to promote efficiency and integrity as well as raise the standards of public service in their respective offices.

He said if they have concerns about certain projects and financial transactions, they should reach out to his office or Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to determine the legality of such matters. “Try to find out if it’s okay. And you can write me a letter. At kung sabihin mo malaki, approve ko if you need it (If you say it is big, I will approve it if you need it).”

Duterte also said he expects them to “exemplify honor and excellence in the fulfillment of your duties as servant leaders in the government service.” He said the welfare of the people and the improvement of their lives are of utmost importance.

“I trust that you will help me sustain our people’s faith in the bureaucracy. Remember that you have a vital role in upholding good governance, transparency, and accountability in all of your transactions with the public,” he added.

Duterte said he would “love” them if they remain honest and sincere in public service. “If you are comfortable now, make it a little bit comfortable, but please do not go overboard. And if you stay true, I will love you with all my heart.”