By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has called on new government appointees to offer selfless public service and remain vigilant against corruption.
Addressing the latest batch of government officials who took their oath in Malacañang Thursday, the President said they have a noble obligation to serve the country with integrity, impartiality and independence.
“As government workers, we are duty bound to uphold the Constitution, aid in the administration of justice, serve selflessly, and promote transparency and good governance,” he said.
“I am optimistic that you will lead by example and inspire your fellow civil servants to be strong willed, dedicated, able, fearless, and honest in dealing with our people. Be vigilant against corruption and other unethical motives and interests that diminish public [trust].”
The President pledged he would not hesitate to fire officials who will be involved in irregularities in government. He noted that he previously dismissed “five Cabinet members,” including his allies, when he first ran for mayor in Davao City.
“I do not have the wherewithals of how to go about ridding corruption sa maliliit na bagay ( in small things). Pero ganito ‘yan, ‘pag may corruption, tapos I ask simple questions doon sa director or ‘yung taas niya — the person above, the supervising authority, if I am not satisfied, ‘yung dalawa ang alisin ko (But if there is corruption, I will ask simple questions from a director or the person above, the supervising authority. If I am not satisfied, I will remove the two),” he added.
“It may be like command responsibility which is applicable only to the military. But at times when there is really a crooked line there somewhere at tapos (and then) it redounds to the failure of government service.”
Duterte thanked the officials for taking on the most important challenge in public service, saying he expects them to advance the administration’s development agenda in their offices. He said the administration puts priority on the welfare of the people and the improvement of their lives.