President Rodrigo Duterte fired two officials for reportedly delaying the construction of a major infrastructure project in Metro Manila meant to ease traffic congestion.
In an interview over state-run PTV-4, Duterte said that the two officials from the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission were reportedly sitting on needed documents for the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project for an entire year.
“Itong dalawa, may pinagawa akong dismissal. Hindi ko nagustuhan. Kasi ang Cabinet members are only allowed one month to act on the papers. Ang mga directors, ulitin ko, 15 days lang kayo. May dalawa dito na isang taon na halos ‘yung papel,” the President said.
“At ‘yun pa namang papel na ‘yung construction firm, na siya ang gagawa ng bridge across San Juan. Ang sabi ko sa kanila, kasi madaliin nga. Ito, almost one day—one year rather—walang ginawa kung hindi mag-upo doon sa papeles,” he added.
While he did not disclose the names of the officials, Duterte had earlier met with PRRC officials, led by Jose Antonio “Pepeton” Goitia to discuss the delay of the turnover of papers. Duterte said they sent him a formal letter of apology following the meeting.
Duterte said, however, that what the two officials did was “unacceptable.”
He also said that the two officials violated the country’s anti-graft and corrupt practices law as a result of the delay.
“Masama talaga ang ginawa nitong dalawa. It delayed the project. So, for almost so many months, nagmamadali nga tayo so that we can have the mobility of the people of Metro Manila moving faster. Itong dalawa, inupuan ‘yan almost one year,” he said.
“Kaya sabi ko, while they sent me a letter apologizing for the delay, I’m telling them now—dito ngayon sa TV—I have fired you actually,” he added.
Due to the heavy traffic in Metro Manila, the government proposed the construction of Skyway Stage 3, passing through some cities in the metropolis, with a length of 14.8 km. Once completed, this will connect the North and South Luzon Expressways.
He assured the public anew that corruption and political oppression would no longer thrive in the country and disrupt the growth of the economy.
“I have fired so many government employees… Talagang ‘yung sabi kong ayaw ko ng corruption, ayaw ko ng corruption,” President Duterte said.