Duterte to ‘corrupt’ gov’t officials, personnel: ‘Shape up now’

ALABEL, Sarangani — President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte called on government officials and personnel who are into “corrupt” activities to “shape up now” as he reiterated his commitment to cleanse the bureaucracy of corruption in his upcoming administration.

Duterte, who graced the oath-taking here on Wednesday afternoon of Senator-elect Emmanuel “Manny” Pacqiuao and the newly-elected officials of Sarangani and General Santos City, said the crackdown against corruption will be among his top priorities as he promised during his campaign.

He rallied the area’s incoming set of officials to join him and do their share in the campaign against corruption.

“Let give the Filipinos a respite from corruption. If you really want to help your country, now is the time that I’m there,” he said in his speech at the jam-packed provincial gymnasium here.

The incoming President said his anti-corruption campaign will not mainly target certain personalities but on the cleansing of government institutions.

He said he will start with the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, which he described as “an institution known to be corrupt since time immemorial.”

Duterte said he is aware that some officials and employees of the two offices are “earning on the side that makes your (regular) salaries appear like mere allowances.”

“Kailangang huminto na kayo (You need to stop now). This time you have to change your lifestyles and try to be just an ordinary government worker,” he said.

“We’re just humans who make mistakes. But milking the people of the Republic of the Philippines — that’s hard to accept. I’m not used to that,” Duterte said.

The President-elect said he will act on complaints against corrupt government officials and employees “even through whisper.”

“Whatever government agency (you are in). When you will be found involved in corruption, I will fire you or place you somewhere. You can choose — in ComVal Valley (Compostela Valley) or Jolo (Sulu). I will not hesitate really,” he added. Allen Estabillo/PNA/northboundasia.com