There are no sacred cows in the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said on Sunday.
“The President’s remark that he fired 92 government officials this month underscores that there are no sacred cows in the Duterte administration,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.
“These officials came from different agencies of the government, mostly regulatory bodies, where there is an interface between the public and private sectors,” Abella said.
Firing of government officials involved in corrupt practices does not come in batches, he said.
“Any whiff of corruption, particularly those who serve at the pleasure of the President, means suspension or termination of service in government,” said Abella.
On the other hand, Abella assured that government service will continue despite the firing of these officials.
“In view of this, we assure our people that in cases where heads have been suspended or terminated, day-to-day government operations will remain unhampered because the duties can be performed by the assistant heads who may be designated as officers-in-charge while the chiefs or heads of office are temporarily absent,” Abella said.
President Duterte on Saturday revealed that he has just fired 92 government employees from various agencies this month as part of his bid to end corruption in government.
“I have fired 92. I have fired so many customs official, BIR [Bureau of Internal Revenue], the revenue people and the regulatory boards of LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board], the one giving the franchises for public utilities. 92 all of them this month alone, March. I said go,” Duterte said during the groundbreaking ceremony of a drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation center in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
“I said better... do not f*ck the government with its money, ‘‘cause if you do, we cannot understand each other,” Duterte said.
Duterte said he even fired one of his employees who had been part of his team since 1988.
“The guy who was with me since 1988, he was part of my team but when we were already in the government, and I heard that he was suggesting this and that, and I said you have to go,” Duterte said.
“The first whiff of corruption, it’s finished,” he added.
Earlier this month, Duterte said he had fired “a close associate” over allegations of corruption.
Duterte did not name the government official.
Duterte’s announcement of firing a close associate came a day after National Irrigation Administration chief Peter Laviña quit his post in order to spare the administration from corruption allegations.
Malacañang also stressed that government workers should be corruption-free.