IMPROVE or be ready to get fired, President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, January 22, told officials from the land conversion office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Duterte made the warning as he expressed dismay over the supposed delay in the processing of lands for his administration's land reform program.
"Patiisin mo ako para mo akong ginagago kasi (I keep on waiting. You make me look stupid). You know, you take me as a stupid idiot. Warning ako nang warning ako ng ganun tapos (I keep on giving warnings but) you do it again and again," he said in a speech delivered in Lucena City, Quezon,
Duterte recounted that it took the DAR's office two years to process a a request for land conversion after a follow-up from his former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go.
The President said the Agrarian Reform officials should "better prepare," or else, they would face either "complaint" or "death" if they do not make any progress.
"Tinatanong ko si Bong, 'yung conversion from one of agriculture to commercial yata took them two years to process it (I asked Bong Go about the conversion of agricultural land to commercial land. It took them two years to process)," he recalled.
"So kung nakikinig sila diyan sa conversion office ng DAR: Better prepare because you're fired. Kung hindi kayo mag-ano, kasuhan ko kayo. 'Pag hindi pa kayo natakot sa kaso, patayin ko na lang kayo," Duterte added.
(So if people from the conversion office of DAR are listening, better prepare because you're fired. If you can't do it, I'll file a case against you. If you're not afraid with the filing of the case, I'll just kill you.)
Duterte issued the warning as he renewed his promise to hasten the distribution of lands to land reform beneficiaries in the Quezon province.
The President said his vow would help address land conflicts triggered by the communist guerillas.
"There's a problem about land and agrarian reform. Dito po, I was trying to figure out if nandito si [John] Castriciones, the DAR Secretary, gusto ko siyang tanungin -- and I hope he would be around next time -- na gusto ko siyang tanungin if there's still available lands, government lands ang uunahin ko dito banda sa inyo," he said.
(There's a problem about land and agrarian reform. Here, I was trying to figure out if Castriciones, the DAR Secretary, is here. I want to ask him -- and I hope he would be around next time -- if there's still available lands, government lands. That's my priority here.)
"Kasi iyan ang the most fertile -- isyu ng komunista. Diyan sila eh (Because that's the most fertile -- that's the issue of the communists. That's why they're here)," Duterte added. (SunStar Philippines)