Pres. Duterte vows to end corruption as ‘gift’ to Sen. Pacquiao

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said Sunday, December 17, that he shared the same desire of Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao to rid the government of corruption.

In his speech during the 39th birthday celebration of the world champion boxer here, President Duterte vowed to make good on his campaign promise to eradicate corruption as his “gift” to Pacquaio.

“So birthday niya, let us honor — or at least the entire Philippines is listening now — ang gift ko sa kanya is jointly with his personal hatred for corruption,” Duterte said. “I join him with the same intensity of hate. And ‘yan ang birthday gift ko para sa kanya, yayariin ko kayong lahat,” he added.

The President said he would stop all forms of corruption in government such as the rule on awarding contracts to lowest bidder and use of government money for unnecessary trips abroad or junkets.

He also warned police scalawags involved in corruption saying that he would start to clean up police ranks.

“At Wednesday, mga tatlong superintendent, about 90, siguro mga minimum of 60 police, umalis kayo sa PNP,” he said.

“I am starting the purging at huwag kayong mainsulto kung hindi ka naman tinatamaan, huwag kang magalit kasi ako galit na sa dati eh,” he added.

The Chief Executive reiterated that he would not let unscrupulous individuals to destroy the nation and he would preserve and protect it as part of his mandate.

He also renewed his commitment to fight illegal drugs and criminality, guard the country against threats of terrorism and insurgency and pursue lasting peace in Mindanao.

The President then thanked Pacquiao for supporting government’s efforts to improve the country.

“As a senator, you have demonstrated the qualities of a true leader—someone who believes that in order to make the Philippines a better country, we have to keep our people on top of our priorities. I am glad that you are with me in this mission,” Duterte said.

“I pray for your good health and also for your family so that you will be able to serve the Filipinos. Continue to inspire and uplift others as we lead them towards a more prosperous and comfortable life,” he added.

He likewise praised the senator for giving the country honor and for his dedication to public service. “You have brought so much pride and joy to our country for being a world champion in the field of boxing,” he said.

“The determination you have shown and the humility you embody in the midst of glorious triumphs are worthy of emulation by our countrymen,” he added.

After attending Pacquiao’s birthday celebration, President Duterte visited the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) wounded-in-action and currently recuperating in the Medical Platoon 10th Forward Support Medical Company Service Support Battalion, 10th Infantry Division. Private First Class Erico Mirasol Jr. and Private Christopher Caña were both wounded during an encounter against the members of the New People’s Army.

Corporal Bryan Maste, meanwhile, was injured in a vehicular accident.