President Rodrigo Duterte, attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Papua New Guinea, said another top—but unidentified—government official would be fired by him on his return to the Philippines, Malacañang said Saturday.
The President, who cut short his three-day visit to Papua New Guinea, is expected to arrive Sunday morning in Davao City.
He came from Singapore where he participated in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo declined to name the official but said the government official was involved in graft and corruption.
In his speech before Filipino community in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Duterte said he would try to stop corruption and needed to return, because there would be another official to be fired.
“I will really remove you. Sorry," Duterte said during a meeting with the Filipino community last Friday night.
In line with his campaign to weed out corruption in the bureaucracy, Duterte said he had fired several officials including a Cabinet member whom he caught “lying” during a Cabinet meeting.
The President was originally scheduled to attend the APEC economic leaders’ summit on Nov. 17 and 18 to push for closer economic integration in the region.
The Palace released a revised itinerary of the President and was scheduled to leave Papua New Guinea and arrive at the Davao City international airport on Sunday morning.
The Palace assured that despite the President’s absence in some APEC events, the Philippines continued to support the chairmanship of Papua New Guinea.
On the drugs campaign, the President said in his speech “I have remaining three (years). I hope that I can put in place something.”
There are over 40,000 Filipinos in the country, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Duterte assured the Filipino workers in Papua New Guinea that the administration had gained momentum in fighting corruption and illegal drugs.
Moreover, he said he had also fired several members of his government, including police personnel, who were accused of abuses and wrongdoings but acknowledged that it continued to be a problem.
“Do you know why illegal drugs continues? Because it’s money and it’s very hot,” Duterte said, stressing that several police personnel were drug coddlers themselves.
Last week, Duterte said he wanted “the entire government machinery” to participate in the administration’s aggressive crackdown on illegal drugs.
“I will issue a memorandum circular directing the entire government machinery to mobilize its assets and to take an active role in government’s anti-illegal drug campaign nationwide,” Duterte said.
The President said he also wanted to create a task force on anti-illegal drugs composed of different law enforcement agencies.
“What we have is the moving forward to eradicate illegal drug trade, activate a National Anti-illegal Drug Task Force,” Duterte said.
He said the task force would be composed of the personnel assets from the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Coast Guard and other agencies of the government.
In the same speech before the Filipino community, Duterte downplayed his move to endorse election bets overseas, saying election rules did not apply since he was in a foreign land.
In his speech, Duterte expressed support for Senate bet, former police chief Ronald dela Rosa, saying the nation needed someone like him.
The President then went on to defend his move, saying any campaign rule would not apply to him because he was not in the Philippines. With PNA
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