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Duterte to corrupt BOC, BIR employees: I'm watching you

PAMPANGA, Philippines – After publicly naming police generals allegedly linked to the illegal drug trade, President Rodrigo Duterte warned the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that they too should be ready for a purge of corrupt employees.

In the same speech, Duterte said he is in the process of validating information about officials or employees in certain agencies, including the BOC. 

“I still have to validate it, but I already have the raw information,” he said on Tuesday, July 5, during the Philippine Air Force anniversary ceremony in Clark Airbase, Pampanga. 

He instructed new customs chief Nicanor Faeldon and new Internal Revenue chief Cesar Dulay to rid their agencies of corruption. (READ: Duterte to gov't employees: One whiff of corruption, you're out)

“I hope Faeldon would do his thing, stop corruption in customs. And Billy Dulay, I know him. He’s very good, he’s honest, I hope he can deliver,” said the President. 

He warned fixers and employees or officials in cahoots with them to stop their illegal practice of using their positions to demand money from citizens for faster processing of documents they need.

“Stop. You place yourself in jeopardy of going to prison. Lahat yang mga fixer-fixer, stop (All you fixers, stop),” he said with his characteristic emphasis on the last word.

Duterte said he is keeping an eye on the BIR. 

Kayong mga BIR, stop, because I will make a trail out of you. Lahat ngayon binabantayan,” he said. (You in the BIR, stop, because I will make a trail out of you. Everyone is now being watched.)

Similar to his instruction to Interior Secretary Mike Sueño on identifying local government executives helping drug syndicates, Duterte said if there is insufficient evidence to prove corruption charges, employees could be dismissed based on “technical” or administrative cases.

He seemed to say that guilty employees should hope there is enough evidence to try them in court because; if not, they may just end up dead.

E pag hindi ko presenta yung evidence sa korte, ayaw kitang ipakulong, patayin kita, di tabla rin? Mahirap kasi yung ganon,” he said. (If I am not able to present evidence in court, I can’t put you in jail, I will kill you, so it’s even. It will be hard that way.)

Government employees should also be ready for “year-round” lifestyle checks to enable his administration to spot suspicious increase in wealth.

“The lifestyle checks would be all the year round. And I would know from your garage, kung tingnan ko, kung ilan ang kotse mo (just by looking, how many cars you have),” Duterte said.

Suppression of corruption in government in 3 to 6 months is one of Duterte’s most famous campaign promises when he ran for president.

On the day of his inauguration, he also announced his plan to put up a 24/7 government hotline for citizens to call if they have any complaints about any government agency. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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