President Rodrigo Duterte (Presidential Photo)
MANILA – President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Sunday chided corrupt local government, warning them that he would account for their behavior once the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) situation in the country improves.
Duterte urged barangay captains, in particular, to refrain from acting like gods in their barangays saying they do not deserve to be part of government if they acted in such a manner.
“You are just a human being. I’m sure that you know nothing or little at all about governance if you are there into corruption,” he said in a late night public address.
He said he had no respect or compassion for them, noting that he would think twice about sending them to jail or suspending them because he wanted them “removed from the horizon.”
“I just want the graft and corruption stopped and the parties involved in that corruption be prosecuted be the mayor, the city council, or the barangay captain,” he said.
Instead of engaging in corrupt activities, he urged them to “work” by strictly enforcing localized lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in their respective areas.
“It’s time that you really work. Isauli mo sa tao ‘yung honor na ibinibigay nila sa inyo — ibinigay ninyo at ibinigay sa inyo ng tao (Return the honor given to you by the people). You work. Strictly enforce ang quarantine, lalo na ‘yung lockdown (the quarantine protocols, especially the lockdown),” he said.
Cut red tape
Meanwhile, he also ordered other local government officials to release the necessary papers such as ordinances within three days or face charges
“I’m telling you now, kayong mga (you in the) municipal, city — or I do not know if the provincial board is included — ‘pag hindi ninyo inilabas ‘yan (if you didn’t release them) beginning today, I’m going to give you exactly three days, report to the [Department of the Interior and Local Government], city, provincial, ibigay mo doon and for the DILG to inform Secretary [Eduardo] Año, ‘yung boss nila, na submitted na (Give it there and inform DILG Secretary Año, that it’s submitted),” he said.
He warned that they may face prosecution if they failed to comply immediately.
“So the clock is ticking except on the days we do not hold office, I will count the 72 hours weekdays. Tapos (Then) for example it has been there on Monday, then two to three days, should be on Thursday. If you fail to do that, I am directing Fiscal Yang to file the case immediately with the department or sa ano,” he said.
It was unclear who he was referring to as “Fiscal Yang” but Duterte said he was a former fiscal from Nueva Ecija.
“I’ll see to it that you are effectively suspended preventive — suspended as a form of a punishment. But I would prefer that you would be dismissed immediately and the courts for not to interfere,” he added.
He added that delays in the release of papers could lead to more “missteps” because of corruption. (PNA)