Manila, Nov 24 (EFE).- The president of the Philippines has fired some 800 government officials and employees during his tenure for engaging in illegal activities as part of his campaign against corruption.
Rodrigo Duterte said he will continue to “go after government officials and workers who are into graft and corruption” in a televised speech late Monday, in which he named some of those he had dismissed.
Duterte – whom the opposition accuses of allegedly hiding wealth in offshore bank accounts – added that next week he will identify more officials fired for engaging in illegal activities.
The Bureau of Customs, the Bureau of Immigration, the Department of Public Works, the Bureau of Internal Revenue and PhilHealth – the state-owned insurance company – are some of the government agencies that have faced corruption allegations during Duterte’s term.
The president indicated that the dismissed officials have been slapped with administrative fines and that the Ombudsman is in charge of filing criminal charges against government employees implicated in crimes such as bribery and corruption.
The fight against corruption – along with the war on drugs and against the communist insurgency – is a central part of Duterte’s policies.
Last month, the Philippine leader ordered the Department of Justice, which plays the role of public prosecutor, to investigate the “entire government” for corruption until the end of his term in 2022.
During his fiery plea against corruption, Duterte also showed a list from the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, allegedly containing names of lawmakers who asked for commissions in exchange for approving government projects, although he did not reveal their identities.
Duterte said that as president, he does not have jurisdiction to accuse lawmakers suspected of corruption, but will forward the list to the Ombudsman for action.
“Let’s go to political law… I have no business investigating congressmen; they belong to a separate organ of government,” said Duterte, who urged the country’s parliament to launch an internal investigation into the matter. EFE