Monday August 20, 2018

Duterte set to fire another official

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte revealed Thursday, May 24, that he might fire another official when he returns to Malacañang from Davao City.

Duterte made the pronouncement at the inauguration of the Davao River Bridge Widening Project in Davao City, where he lamented that most of those axed were close to him.

"I might fire another one when I return to Malacañang," the President said.

"Sadly, most of those (who were fired) were my appointees and my friends, and who were with me during the mayorship days," he added.

Duterte announced his plan, in the middle of his talk about the recent dismissal of Transportation assistant secretary Mark Tolentino for allegedly dealing with a presidential sister.

The President reiterated that his directive was clear that no public official should dare transact or even just start a conversation with any of his family.

"I just fired one -- Mark Tolentino. I already told you before, do not talk to anybody, especially my family, my wife, my daughter, my sons or any relatives of mine, a sibling. Do not allow them to talk to you," he said.

"Even the discussion of that Mindanao Railway is still in the blueprint. But the fact that this assistant secretary talked it over with my sister, even if it's just a conversation, you really have to hide because if I learn about it, you're done, you will be fired," Duterte added.

On May 21, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said Tolentino was the latest public official who was booted out in the government for his alleged "dealings" with Duterte's sister.

Tolentino's dismissal came just three days after he claimed that the Mindanao railway project was being deliberately derailed, in an attempt by some Tranportation department's higher officials to borrow funds from a foreign firm despite having a P36-billion budget.

The President has kept his pledge to get rid of public officials involved even in just a "whiff of corruption."

He fired a number of officials with high positions in government because of either incompetence, corruption issue, or excessive foreign travels. (SunStar Philippines)