President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday he would pay up to P100,000 to anyone who would tip him off about corrupt officials and anomalous government projects.
“I am asking all of you. Those who do not have permanent jobs, particularly those hired under the casual scheme, all you have to do is to let me know and I will have a prize for you,” Duterte said in a mix of Filipino and English during a recorded public address Tuesday night.
“If you have a big, big syndicate, or a ghost project that belongs to the director…son of a bitch, I will give you P50,000. Just whisper it to me, anybody.”
The President said if the contract is huge, he would give the whistleblower even more.
“I’ll give you P100,000 and I will keep your identity secret until I reach my grave,” he added.
The reward offer is part of the Duterte administration’s intensified campaign against graft and corruption in the government.
Duterte recently tasked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to carry out a bureaucracy-wide corruption probe as he vowed to zero in on corruption in the last two years of his term.
Duterte warned corrupt officials that they are not indispensable.
“Do not ever think that you are indispensable in the scheme of things in the government. There are many Filipino graduates who are honest,” he said.
“A lot of people are out of work now, so those of you with government jobs, take care of your position. Do not allow even a dent of anomaly to go through your office,” he said.
Duterte also read out the names of government personnel from the Department of Public Works and Highways, Bureau of Immigration, and Local Water Utilities Administration who were allegedly involved in anomalies within their respective agencies.
On Monday night, he summoned suspended immigration officials in Malacañang and gave them a dressing-down.
In an interview over state-run PTV-4, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said informants played a crucial role in combating corruption.
“Our appeal to the public is, corruption will not stop unless you give us information,” he said.
He also offered assurances that the identities of informants would not be revealed.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who heads the DOJ task force against corruption, said the rewards offered by the President would be given only for tips that actually lead to the filing of charges.
Since the DOJ-led task force has no special funding for this purpose, Guevarra said he believes the rewards will be drawn from the President’s intelligence funds.
“The President has the proper authority to draw from funds like that because it is a very legitimate matter,” he said.
Nonetheless, Guevarra said he was surprised that the President announced “out of the blue” the reward offer on Tuesday night.
He said the screening and filtering of such information would most likely be processed by his task force.