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All appointive gov’t posts declared vacant

President Duterte yesterday declared all positions with presidential appointees vacant amid reports of continuing corruption in government offices despite his warnings.

The number of positions to be affected by his order number more than 1,000, the Chief Executive said in a televised early morning press conference in Davao City. “If you are there because of presidential appointment, I will declare all your positions all throughout the country vacant,” Duterte said as he expressed disappointment over reports that corruption persists in most government offices.

He specifically cited the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board and the Land Transportation Office whose officials must report to him this week. “Until now in my provincial visits I still hear corruption being committed specially in the regulatory agencies,” Duterte said.

Thus, he said, all those holding appointed positions, “except the career, consider your positions vacant as of this hour. All of them. Lahat. It will number in thousands. Consider yourself in the crucible of the truth about corruption in this country,” the President said.

To prevent a vacuum which may result to disruption of operations of government agencies, Duterte named deputies as officers-in-charge. They are to automatically assume the vacated position until a new appointment is issued. “There’s always a deputy or even the first clerk, they can take over until such time I decide whether I will dispose of you or not,” he said.

According to the President, he already warned against graft and corruption, yet it continued to persist. “I gave you a warning. Stop it. I promised the people I will give you a clean government. It will be clean and it would maybe, along the way, cost the employment of some who are really the corrupt,” he said.

He stressed that the President, being the appointing authority, “has the power to appoint and the power to dismiss, without any reason, except loss of confidence in your ability to deliver your mandate.”

As to the LTFRB officials, Duterte said he wants the former “to report (to him) at his convenience maybe this week.”

Duterte said yesterday that he will revisit the case of alleged “pork barrel” fund scam mastermind businesswoman Janet L. Napoles.

Duterte said that he has some “revealing things” about the case. He said that having some politicians acquitted or charged for their involvement in the case were not enough vindication for the Filipino people.

Duterte threatened to sever ties with the United Nations if it continues to criticize his administration’s fight against illegal drugs.

He even warned the intergovernmental organization of forming a separate organization together with China and African countries.

The UN got the ire of Duterte after the organization called the attention of Duterte because of the supposed rising number of extra judicial killings in the country. (ELENA L. ABEN)