Gov’t reshuffle excludes NBI — Palace

Published September 1, 2020, 9:19 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will not be covered by President Duterte’s directive calling for a reshuffle of some government offices, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.(CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.(CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President’s latest order covers only the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), which have been confronted with corruption scandals.

“‘Yung tinukoy na reshuffling kagabi ay reshuffling sa Customs at sa PhilHealth, hindi po kasama ang NBI. (On the reshuffling mentioned Monday night involves reshuffling in Customs and PhillHealth. NBI is not included),” Roque said during a Palace press briefing, citing a text message from Senator Christopher Go.

Roque said the reshuffle in the two government offices should be implemented regularly to prevent the establishment of their own “kingdoms” that affect public service.

“Tingin ko naman po, this should be done regularly kasi nga po hindi naman dapat masyadong nagtatagal iyan sa mga regional offices dahil parang nagkakaroon na sila ng sariling ‘kingdom’ (I think this should be done regularly because they should not stay so long in the regional offices because they tend to have their own ‘kingdom’),” he said.

He said a regular reshuffle would prevent the officials from being too comfortable in their temporary assignments. If officials stay in an assignment too long, he said they could grow “roots” and incur debts of gratitude from some people that “could become a hindrance to the discharge of their functions.”

In a televised address Monday night, the President ordered the reshuffle in the regional offices in PhilHealth and BoC to fight corruption.  Duterte, in his televised address Monday, said he want to see such reorganization within two to three days.

The President earlier appointed former NBI director Dante Gierran as the new PhilHealth president, telling him to bring the corrupt officials to prison. He also asked Customs chief Rey Leonardo Guerrero to “shape up” and kill those behind continued drug smuggling in the country.

“I want to see a reshuffle of the different regional offices within the next two or three days. That goes for the NBI pati PhilHealth,” Duterte said, recalling his conversation with Guerrero.

If these officials refuse to be transferred, Duterte said he would ask them to report to the Palace. He said they would be required to do “a research” or “thesis” on “how not to serve the government properly.”

“You study on that and ‘yung lahat ng ano — mga regional vice presidents, tanggalin ninyo whether performing at par or in parity with the other good ones,” the President said. 

“If they are there for so long a time, the element of familiarity always enters the picture. Iyan ang mahirap diyan. Kung matagal na, tanggalin na. Iyong ayaw magtanggal — ayaw magpatanggal, mag-report kayo dito sa opisina (That’s the difficulty. If they have stayed for so long, remove them. If they don’t want to be removed, better report to this office),” he added.