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Duterte fires 92 officials in March alone for graft
By Manolo B. Jara March 27, 2017
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MANILA: President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte disclosed he dismissed a total of 92 government officials and employees as a vital component of his campaign to rid the bureaucracy of graft and corruption.

Duterte said most of those dismissed were assigned to agencies widely known as centers of corruption like the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

“I have dismissed 92. I have fired so many customs officials, BIR, LFTRB and LTO. Ninety two of them this month (March) alone,” the president said.

“I told them to go,” he pointed out in his speech at the groundbreaking ceremonies for a drug rehabilitation center in Bukidnon province in restive Mindanao on Saturday.

But he admitted he let most of those dismissed to go silently, stressing he did not want to embarrass particularly their children either studying or working in reputable schools or big companies.

Duterte emphasized he was equally determined to pursue his war on illegal drugs and corruption in the bureaucracy as part of his campaign commitment for change in the May 2016 presidential election.

“The first whiff of corruption and you are finished,” he stressed.

In early March, Duterte disclosed that he dismissed one of his closest associates since he was the mayor of his hometown in Davao City in Mindanao for alleged corruption.

He did not identify the official but Peter Lavinia later acknowledged that he resigned as the head of the National Irrigation Administration to save Duterte from embarrassment over allegations of Lavinia’s involvement in corruption.

Lavinia also served as the spokesman in the May 2016 election which Duterte won by a landslide by garnering more than 16 million votes to become the first Mindanao native and politician to capture the presidency.

While in Bukidnon, Duterte likewise asked his allies and the people to respect the mandate given to them in the last election by allowing him as the president and Vice President Leni Robredo to discharge their official functions.

Duterte was referring to the impeachment charges filed against him and Robredo before the House of Representatives for alleged betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.

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