President Rodrigo Duterte said he will fire five more government officials, including the head of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, for their alleged involvement in graft and corruption.
Duterte made the announcement in Cebu over the weekend days after he asked Justice Assistant Secretary Moslemen Macarambon Sr. and Public Works Assistant Secretary Tingagun Umpa to tender their resignations or be fired.
Earlier this month, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo had to resign over a controversial P60-million advertisement deal that benefited her brother’s company.
“I’m inclined to fire somebody. I just want to talk to him before I do that. He is an undersecretary,” the President said during a gathering of local executives in Cebu City.
“[Maybe] I will fire them in just one swoop. They are about five in the list … No offense intended but public office is still an opportunity really to make money,” he added.
In a separate speech also in Cebu, Duterte said the head of the OGCC, Rudolf Jurado, is also on the chopping block.
“Maybe I’ll fire the corporate [counsel] tomorrow,” Duterte said.
In a previous speech, the President lamented that the officials he had to fired were his own appointees whom he believed could help him effect positive changes in government.
“If you notice, most of those I had to let go are those who are close to me. I’m very sad that they are the very first to go,” he said.
“All those whom I have fired are my people. As I have said, I am not perfect. There is no way of telling that the people who are close to you will do this, that you might ever fall into the trap of believing that you are with a crowd for change,” the President said.
The President earlier sacked Maritime Industry Authority administrator Marcial Amaro III as well as all high officials of the Presidential Commission on Urban Poor for excessive and unnecessary junkets.