Duterte says more officials ‘suspended pending investigation’

Paterno Esmaquel II
Duterte says more officials ‘suspended pending investigation’
President Rodrigo Duterte reads the names of at least 13 suspended government employees, from a prosecutor to a former mayor

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, May 16, disclosed the names of more officials who have been suspended “pending investigation.”

In a chance interview on Wednesday, the President released the names of at least 13 suspended government employees.

The employees included a prosecutor, an airport district collector, and a former mayor, according to a list that Duterte read from a white folder.

“Suspended silang lahat ngayon pending investigation (They’re now all suspended pending investigation),” he said.

Duterte also mentioned Moslemen Macarambon Sr, an assistant secretary at the Department of Justice (DOJ) whom the President advised to resign due to alleged corruption.

He also cited the earlier reported case of Tingagun Ampaso Umpa, assistant secretary at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), whom he told to resign alongside Macarambon.

Duterte said he is forwarding the case of Umpa, along with others, to the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Mas gusto ko ang Ombudsman para walang masabi (I like the Ombudsman better so that they cannot say anything about it),” the President said.

Umpa has denied involvement in corruption, saying that he is the victim of a “demolition job.”

Duterte, the mayor of Davao City for more than two decades, has vowed to stamp out corruption in government.

He has claimed he would remove government employees even over just a “whiff of corruption,” but has kept other controversial officials in government.

One of them was Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña, who was named tourism undersecretary two months after Duterte did not renew his term with the Social Security System (SSS) due to alleged “abuse” of public funds. (READ: Duterte’s fight vs corruption: 16 sacked execs face no charges– Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.