Duterte fires DBM undersecretary for 'corruption'

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed on Thursday, October 19, that he has axed yet another government official.

Without naming the official, Duterte said he fired an "undersecretary of the Department of Budget and Management" (DBM).

"I wanted to slap him. I wanted to kick him. I fired him for corruption," he said in a speech during a Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry event in Manila.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno confirmed that the DBM undersecretary Duterte fired is Gertrudo De Leon, an appointee of the President's.

Duterte did not go into detail about the corrupt practice of the undersecretary. (READ: Zero tolerance? Gov't officials Duterte fired for corruption) 

"There were 3 employees in my office, influence-peddling. This one was tinkering with the money, I told you stop. S-T-O-P," he said.

The President decided not to publicize the name of the official because he does "not want to shame the family," he said on Wednesday, October 18, during a speech in front of migrant workers' advocacy groups.

In the DBM, De Leon oversaw legal and legislatives matters. Specifically, he served as the legislative liaison officer to coordinate with the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office on the national budget. 

De Leon is a lawyer by training. He has ties with Cabinet officials who enjoy friendship with the President. After passing the bar in 1992, he worked at the De Borja Medialdea Ata Bello Guevarra & Serapio Law Firm. 

This is the law firm of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra. – 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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