With PH losing billions to corruption, Duterte threatens to make wayward officials ‘eat money’

Published March 6, 2021, 12:55 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The anti-corruption campaign will be pursued without let up after billions of pesos have been lost from such irregularities in government, President Duterte declared Friday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / FILE / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / FILE / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President vowed to weed out corrupt public servants in the bureaucracy, and even force them to “eat money.”

“We lost a lot of money, honestly. There are so many instances. You can say we lost 17 billion to corruption,” the President said in Visayan during his visit to Cagayan de Oro City Friday, March 5.

“Didn’t I tell you when I was campaigning? I said I would eliminate corruption,” said Duterte, who previously expressed frustration with the rampant corruption in government.

And as such, government officials involved in corruption should not expect any mercy from the President.

“If you get involved in corruption, sorry,” Duterte said.

“If you get involved in corruption or commit other wrongful acts involving money, you will really eat money,” he added.

Duterte, who previously fired officials for alleged corrupt practices, pointed out that corruption has been prevalent at the higher echelons of power. “Customs and BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) is just small scale corruption. The big ones are at the higher offices,” he said.

The President recalled that he summoned the airport personnel implicated in the pastillas bribery scam and sought their dismissal from service.  He wanted to feed money to them when they were in the Palace back in November, but his plan did not push through.

“I’d make the wayward personnel eat it when they arrive. The problem is Secretary of Justice Menardo Guevarra was there and the Bureau of Immigration is under him. Well, he’s a decent man so you got saved. Because if he wasn’t around, then you definitely would have eaten some money,” he said.

Duterte was also merciless with alleged corrupt personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“For those involved in anomalous acts, I would invite them to my office. They will just stay there. They can sit there the whole day and ponder about all the sins that they’ve done in this world,” he said.

The President earlier promised to step up the campaign against corruption in the remainder of his term. In line with his anti-corruption fight, he recently launched a shame campaign, reading out names of officials either suspended or dismissed from office due to various offenses in his public addresses.

 
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