Duterte warns he'll fire an entire commission

MANILA, Philippines – Taking his anti-corruption drive to another level, President Rodrigo Duterte claimed on Friday, December 8, that he is about to fire an entire commission.

"On Monday, I will fire about one commission mismo, lahat sila (all of them)," said Duterte speaking at the 84th anniversary celebration of the Department of Labor and Employment in San Miguel, Bulacan.

In his entire speech, the President did not name the commission.

He spoke of irregularities in the commission but did not give specific details. He's sure of one thing: that even officials not directly involved in the questionable activities would have known about them.

"Wala akong pakialam kung nakisali lahat o dalawa, tatlo (I don't care if all were involved, or only 2 or 3), you have to go out because I don't think it would exist without your knowlege," said the President.

While not clear if related to the commission he says he will fire, frequent and unnecessary foreign travels by government officials is one thing Duterte mentioned would cause him to fire someone.

"If you are somebody who has been in and out of the country 6 times since you were appointed in September using public money, umalis ka na (get out now)," he said.

"May linggo (You have the weekend. There's still time enough for you to ponder and tender your resignation)," Duterte added.

He reminded government officials, especially his appointees, to inform him before they travel abroad for official business.

"Didn't I say, don't travel if I don't know about it? Because constant travels with no use, that's a junket and you're wasting money," he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

To drive home his point, Duterte recalled the budget undersecretary he had fired two months ago, Gertrudo de Leon.

The President said he wanted to "kick him in the face" but could not because the former official was a "friend" of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. – 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.