President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he would fire 100 Customs officials to rid the agency of corruption.
“If I get away with 100 more, I think we will have a cleaner and better Customs,” Duterte said in his speech during the oath-taking of presidential appointees on Monday.
The President announced weeks ago that he will dismiss 64 Customs personnel allegedly involved in corrupt activities.
The President also stood firm on his decision to suspend the operations of the Small Town Lottery and Peryahan ng Bayan because of corruption.
“I said you can resume Lotto. [But] STL, Peryahan ng Bayan, all stealing. They steal money before they will remit,” he said.
Duterte previously ordered the shut down of all gaming operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, including lotto, to purge the agency of “massive corruption.”
He approved the resumption of lotto operations after a four-day suspension, but the STL and Peryahan ng Bayan remain suspended pending investigation on allegations of corruption.
The Palace earlier said Duterte will name about 10 PCSO officials involved in a multi-billion-peso corruption scandal.
“Any form of corruption will be dealt with promptly,” the President told his new appointees.
The President likewise vowed to drag to hell his critics who want to see him imprisoned for alleged extrajudicial killings committed in the government’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs.
“In drugs, I face several accusations. The bastards think they can jail me. I’ll bring them to hell before they can jail me,” he said.
The United Nations Human Rights Council recently adopted an Iceland-led resolution calling for a comprehensive report on the human rights situation under his term.
Duterte previously said he will not submit to any foreign investigation as he is willing to be tried only in Philippine courts.
In his presidential campaign in 2016, Duterte promised he will eradicate illegal drugs in the country within three to six months.
He was widely criticized by local and international human rights groups for his crackdown on illegal drugs over alleged violations of due process and human rights during police operations.
Since 2016, more than 5,000 drug suspects have been killed in anti-drug operations, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
The government has consistently denied that the murders were state-sponsored.
Duterte also asked the newly-appointed government officials to help him stamp out illegal drugs, among other problems.
“Let us all work together so that we may finally end the ills that have degraded the level of governance in this country. Help me institute the necessary reforms so that our government may effectively stamp out criminality, illegal drugs, terrorism and other ills that have prevented us from improving the lives of our people,” he said.