By Genalyn Kabiling
A shame campaign against those involved in corruption will be applied by President Rodrigo Duterte in a bid to protect public interest and public funds.
At the inauguration of the new Sangley airport in Cavite last Saturday, the President has vowed to “humiliate” individuals or entities engaged in corruption. He warned that they would “not only lose your business” but also their “pants.”
“I tiptoe in the path of the presidency. You know why? Kasi ako ‘pag bumira ng corrupt talagang bibirahin kita (Because when I criticize the corrupt, I will really slam you) and I will humiliate and I will shame you and I will not give you that pleasure of getting back at me,” he said in his remarks.
As he affirmed his zero tolerance for corruption, the President also said he would not hesitate to slap and kick any erring public servant. He noted that fighting corruption is one of his campaign promises when he ran for president.
“Believe me — men in government. T*** i** hihiritan talaga kita. Alam ninyo sinasampal ko kayo. Alam ninyo sinisipa ko kayo sa harap ng mga secretaries (Believe me, men in government. Son of a b*tch, I will really hit back. You know I’d slap you, you know I’d kick you in front of the secretaries),” he said.
“Do not try to tempt the gods of the Cabinet, hindi ako. Huwag ninyong talagang gawain ‘yun (Don’t do it). You will not only lose your business, you will lose your — not only your pants, but your entire…” he added.
As part of his anti-corruption drive, Duterte also said he has prohibited government transactions in his office, and instead left to the Cabinet to handle such matters. “No transaction of government involving money, dollars, or pesos or whatever would ever pass my desk in the office or in the — my bedroom, sa study table ko (in my bedroom, study table),” he said.
According to Duterte, Cabinet members are given leeway to implement projects but will be accountable to him at the end of the day.
“Sinabi ko diyan sa Cabinet. Mabuti’t ‘yan malaman ninyo. Sabi ko talaga ayaw ko. Sonny, kay Tugade (I told the Cabinet, so you know. I told them I don’t want it. I told Sonny (Dominguez), (Arthur) Tugade, it’s your project. Do it. If you fail, you answer to me. It begins and ends in your desk. Do not bother,” he said.
The President has previously fired several government officials for alleged corruption and other irregularities. He repeatedly reminded government officials to offer selfless public service and shun corruption.
“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 during a recent oath-taking of new government officials at the Palace.
Recently, Duterte publicly lambasted two Metro Manila water concessionaires for alleged onerous contracts with the government. He threatened to throw in jail the owners of the water firms for alleged plunder or estafa charges, saying the contracts violated the country’s anti-graft law. He claimed that the owners of the two water firms are the “big fishes” in the fight against corruption.