MANILA — There is no stopping President Rodrigo R. Duterte from purging corrupt government officials from office as he threatened to fire more of them next week.
“Lessen ang corruption but I will fire more next week,” Duterte said during the turnover of grants to beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) unconditional cash transfer program in Koronadal City on Tuesday (March 26).
Duterte did not give any details but hinted at waiting for a “report” before making a decision to fire the said government officials.
“Hinihintay ko lang ‘yung report nila. But sabi ko na (I’m just waiting for their report. But I said), ‘You give me your report and if I find it justifiable, you can stay. Pero kung may (But if there is) corruption, I’m sorry,” Duterte said.
“Hanggang ngayon nagpapaalis pa ako ng tao (Until now, I’m firing officials). I’m trying my best,” he added.
Last week, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo bared that Duterte threatened to fire officials of state regulator Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and terminate the contracts of its two water concessionaires if they failed to properly explain the reason for the water shortage problem in Metro Manila.
Panelo said the President was “obviously outraged” in his meeting with MWSS, officials of water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water, in Malacañang on March 19.
“In a stern message delivered without even once looking at the officials, the obviously outraged President threatened to fire the MWSS officials and terminate the concessionaires’ contracts,” Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo said the President also ordered MWSS and the two water concessionaires to submit a report on the water shortage before April 10.
MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco, however, he is willing to resign if the water shortage problem in Metro Manila persists.
Velasco said members of the MWSS serve under the pleasure of the President and he has his prerogative to remove officials anytime he wanted.
The water shortage started affecting residents in Metro Manila in the second week of March with some areas having their water supply completely cut off.
MWSS said the shortage is due to the increase in population, demand of consumers, on top of the early onslaught of the dry season.
Azer Parrocha /PNA – northboundasia.com