President Duterte vows to axe corrupt government officials

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — More heads will roll in President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet as he vowed to rid his administration of officials who may be involved in corruption following the firing of one of his closest allies.

In the wake of former National Irrigation Administration (NIA) administrator Peter Laviña’s stepping down due to alleged wrongdoings, Duterte said Friday more others in his Cabinet will follow.

Laviña resigned last week amid accusations that he was asking money from NIA contractors, an allegation that he vehemently denied.

In interviews, he said he resigned from his post to save the Duterte government from embarrassment.

“So in the coming days I’m going to fire additional people whom I have appointed in government,” the President told reporters here.

Duterte was in Camp Evangelista in Cagayan De Oro City on a visit to the wake of two soldiers killed in action in the camp’s Loyola Chapel and four wounded troopers at the Army Station Hospital here.

The wounded and the dead soldiers were just the latest casualties as the military and New People’s Army fighters figured in a series of encounters in Misamis Oriental early this week.

Although he did not give exact numbers or the names of those whom he will boot out from his Cabinet, Duterte said “marami yan (there’s many of them).”

He also gave out a warning to all public officials who may be suspected of committing unlawful acts or abusing their power.

“This is my warning to those in the government: Whether you are a director or CESO or civil service eligible, I’m telling you stop it, at least for six years, while I’m still sitting in office,” he said referring to those who may be involved corrupt practices.

During his campaign, Duterte promised to rid the government of corruption and now that he is the country’s chief executive, he is bent on fulfilling it.

“Corruption will stop and it will stop, I am telling you I will put a stop to it,” he stressed. Jigger Jerusalem/