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CAMBODIA — Government officials implicated in corruption should step down or else face possible death.
As he began his state visit to Cambodia, President Duterte minced no words with corrupt public servants, threatening to “kill” them if they cling to their posts.
Speaking to the Filipino community in Phnom Penh last Tuesday night, the President said he would be unforgiving in weeding out erring officials regardless of friendship.
“Akin talaga is dismissal. Hindi ako makontento ng suspension. Dismissal. Kung ayaw mong umalis sa trabaho, ‘di patayin kita. Ganon lang,” the President said in his remarks.
If corruption becomes rampant in a government agency, Duterte warned that the highest official of the agency may have to leave his post. He said he wants to give the people a “respite” from the perennial problem of corruption in government.
“Corruption it will stop. Wala akong papatawarin diyan. Maski kaibigan. It will stop,” the President said. “Maski kaming mga kaibigan, sabi ko. Pag ka may nangyari diyan at under sa iyo, I’m sorry maybe even you would have to resign,” he added.
Accompanied by two senators and several Cabinet members, the President arrived in Cambodia on Tuesday night for a two-day state visit to enhance bilateral relations.
In his remarks on Tuesday, the President encouraged overseas Filipino workers to report any corruption activity via the government hotline 8888.
Names of the suspected corrupt government officials would be flashed on state-owned television to put them in shame, he aded.
“After the news blanko ‘yan, ‘yung screen. It’s actually a program, you just dial, just dial 8888. Then isabi mo doon, para malaman ng buong Pilipinas, sambayanang Pilipino,” he said.
“You can name them. Hindi mo na kailangan ilagay pangalan mo and I will take it from there,” he added.
Apart from fighting corruption, the President promised anew to be relentless in the crackdown on illegal drugs in the country.
Duterte however said he would continue to rally behind the policemen performing their duty in anti-drug efforts. On the cops implicated in the death of an Albuera town mayor, he said he would continue to believe the policemen unless they are convicted in court.
Duterte also pledged to build more drug rehabilitation facilities next year with the government’s 2017 national budget. He admitted that he was unable to build drug abuse treatment facilities this year given the limited budget left by his predecessor. (GENALYN KABILING)