President Duterte is hoping that his successor will be “as forceful and resolute” in fighting corruption in government, particularly in infrastructure projects.
The President discussed his anti-corruption drive while attending the inauguration of Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project in Quezon City, admitting that running after the corrupt is not easy. He mentioned the alleged anomalies in some public works projects where biddings are supposedly rigged to favor certain contractors.
“I hope that the next President would be as forceful and resolute na to confront this almost evil practice of people going around the country, naghahanap ng mga bidding, tapos paghati-hatian lang nila. (looking for public biddings and then splitting the spoils),” said Duterte, who will end his six-year term in 2022.
“Kaya ang mga proyekto natin ang pera ng Pilipino hindi sapat doon sa budgeted sa isang eskwelahan, isang… Because of corruption. Iyan talaga ang totoo. (That’s why our schools and other projects funded by the money of Filipinos are not enough because of corruption. That’s the truth),” he said.
In his remarks, Duterte unleashed another profanity-laced rebuke against those who rig public biddings for the government’s infrastructure projects. He lamented that this usually lead to substandard or incomplete projects.
“When I leave the office, medyo kailangan lang i-control ng susunod sa akin. It’s not easy to go after them. Hindi mo basta-basta. Magtatakbo ‘yan ng Supreme Court, mag-TRO (temporary restraining order) (When I leave the office, my successor must control it. It’s not easy to go after them. They will run to the Supreme Court, ask for a TRO),” he said.
The President said he has already appealed to the judges against the issuance of temporary restraining orders on government projects. He claimed that unnecessary TROs only derail the completion of projects vital to the country’s growth. “Sabi ko (I said) ‘Stop it.’ Unless there is really a compelling reason or a graft and corruption involved, stop it. Do not delay. Do not hinder the progress of this country,” he said.
Duterte also appealed anew the public to report complaints of corruption especially in infrastructure projects. He said they should simply give the name of the contractor or employee involved in corruption.
“Kung mayroon ganoong mga contractors sabihin ninyo kasi iyon ang iunang — sila ang gawain natin na pundasyon ng unang poste ng anong ginagawa ninyo (If there are contractors like that, tell us because we will include them in the foundation of the first post of your project),” he said.
The President meantime congratulated Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar for initiating a total revamp in his agency amid complaints of corruption.
“There will be more to come. Did I not tell you a little about a few days ago o months that I will dedicate the remaining years of my mayorship dito sa corruption?” he said. “Talagang upakan ko kayo. Hindi ninyo naalaala iyon, pasensya kayo (I will really run after you. Don’t you remember? Well I’m sorry),” he said.
The President earlier expressed exasperation over rampant corruption in government and ordered the Department of Justice to lead a sweeping probe into alleged irregularities in the bureaucracy.