Duterte to public servants: Don’t steal public funds if you want to stay in government

Published March 2, 2021, 12:12 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Any government official stealing public funds will not only be humiliated but also risk losing his job, President Duterte warned Monday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

In a televised address, the President cautioned government officials against committing corruption in the remainder of his term, saying he would pursue their dismissal from office.

The latest warning was issued by the President after reading aloud some names of trade and public works personnel either suspended and dismissed over various offenses. The President’s weekly shame campaign is part of his intensified fight against corruption in government.

“Less than a year, wala na ako. Basta magkamali kayo maski kaunti ngayon, iwasan ninyo magkamali if you value your work, if you want to stay in government (I’ll be gone in less than a year. Avoid committing a mistake even a slight one if you value your work, if you want to say in government),” Duterte said in his remarks aired on state television.

“I will investigate immediately and file case before the Ombudsman para diretso na. Maybe the Ombudsman will be the one to issue the suspension order pero ako (but) I want you out — out as in out of government service,” he added.

Duterte also threatened to summon erring public servants to the Palace and slap them on the face.

“To a fault, talagang nanghihiya ako ng tao. Pagdating mo dito, sasampalin kita diyan sa kwarto (To a fault, I really humiliate people. Once you arrive here, I will slap you in the office),” he said. “Kapag sinabi ko sa security na umalis kayo, may tama ka niyan (When I tell the security to leave the room, you’ll certainly get a slap from me).  I humiliate  people especially who steal money from government,” he added.

Given his no-mercy campaign against corruption, Duterte told public servants to wait “for better times” after his term ends.

“It would be best na huwag ka munang magkapera ngayon. Hintayin na lang ninyo for better times. Maghintay kayo kung sinong presidente na kaya ninyo (It would be best if you won’t commit corruption now. Just wait for better times. Wait for the president you can deal with),” he said.

The President previously declared that he would use the remainder of his term to step up the campaign against corruption. But he recently admitted the eliminating corruption in the bureaucracy would be impossible. Duterte, who promised to get rid of illegal drugs and corruption, in 2016 campaign, will end his six-year term in June 2022.

In the same speech, the President vowed to pursue the anti-corruption drive in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). He said he was not through with the public works department after learning about some district engineers were allegedly involved in irregularities.

“Prove to me nga kayong mga engineer na pumasa sa board baka p*** i** pineke ninyo (The engineers must prove them they passed the board. It seems they faked it),” he said.

Duterte also pushed for the dismissal of DPWH personnel who were merely placed on preventive suspension over alleged anomalies. He was exasperated when he read a document showing some personnel with alleged poor performance led to the delay in construction as well as those who conceal facts to make it appear the project was completed.

“Umalis kayo sa gobyerno (Leave the government),” Duterte said.

“Preventive suspension? DPWH, paalisin ninyo ‘yan (DPWH, remove them) in the fastest possible time. I do not need government workers  na ganun. Kung wala ka pa lang alam, bakit ka pumasa sa board? Leche ka (If you don’t know anything, how come you passed the board? Leche ka),” he said.