DOTr 'will comply' with Duterte's call to remove appointees
MANILA, Philippines – Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade will comply with President Rodrigo Duterte's order to remove presidential appointees once Duterte issues a formal directive.
Early on Sunday, August 21, Duterte had said that appointees in all government agencies should leave their posts since corruption persists.
"Once a formal directive is issued, compliance is guaranteed," Transportation Spokesperson Cherie Mercado told Rappler on Sunday evening. (READ: Incoming DOTC chief to businessmen: Don't corrupt us)
During a press conference, Duterte named the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) as among the agencies where corruption is still widespread.
The LTO and LTFRB are attached agencies of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
"On Monday, I would declare all positions in the government....If you are there because of a presidential appointment, I will declare all your positions all throughout the country vacant," the President said.
Mercado said the department supports the removal of presidential appointees.
"The DOTr as headed by Secretary Tugade collectively abhors corruption," the transportation spokesperson said.
"It has been reiterated by Secretary Tugade to all undersecretaries and agency heads that we shall be uncompromising and unforgiving in issues of corruption," she added. (READ: Unsatisfied Duterte to be 'harsher' vs corruption)
Cabinet officials, however, are exempted from Duterte's directive. "It's too early for them (Cabinet officials) to be corrupted," the President said.
LTO Chairman Edgar Galvante told GMA News Online that he will comply with Duterte's order.
"I'll have to comply, I will report on Monday (August 22) and clear my desk," Galvante told the news agency.
Rappler could not reach LTO and LTFRB officials as of posting time for comment. – Rappler.com