President Duterte said that he has been trying his best in curbing corruption in government and that he had made some progress in weeding out corrupt officials.
Duterte made the statement after Senator Manny Pacquiao alleged that the current administration was more corrupt compared to its predecessor.
In his meeting with executives of the ruling PDP-Laban party on Tuesday, July 6, the President said the fight against corruption was no easy feat.
He, however, said that he made some progress.
“I’ve been trying really my very best to curb corruption. Hindi ko maalis ‘yan (I cannot eliminate it) overnight but I have made some– a little progress in terminating, dismissing individuals,” Duterte said.
“I cannot abolish offices but I can dismiss employees for their malfeasance,” he added.
The President, in particular, said he went after officials from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) who were involved in anomalous contracts, Bureau of Customs (BOC) personnel involved in the “Pastillas Scheme,” and people involved in the “Laglag-Bala” scheme at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
According to Duterte, revisiting the “Laglag-Bala” scheme would be a good idea since ordinary people fell victim to it.
“Hindi lang nakakaawa (They are not just pitiful), sometimes they are not able to board their flights on time because they are being detained for trumped-up charges,” he said.
“Maybe someday it would be good to assign one investigator to dig itong mga ‘to, kung sino ‘yong mga pulis na naghuli at nag-detain sa mga tao supposedly may bala (find out who were the police who arrested and detained the people who supposedly carried the bullets),” he added.
The President said that targeting the poor people was “oppression of the highest order.”
“Huwag mo lang galawin ang maliliit na tao kasi sa sitwasyon (Do not touch the poor people because), in the situation they are now, mahirap na sa kanila (it’s difficult for them),” he said.
“There is plenty of sorrow and agony sa mga taong naghihirap. Hindi ako nagda-drama (for the poor people. I am not being dramatic). That is my sentiment,” he added.
In his campaign for the presidency in 2016, Duterte promised to rid the country of illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption in three to six months. Months after winning the elections, he admitted that he underestimated the situation.