It’s no secret that President Rodrigo Duterte does not like corruption—but photos of him with known corrupt officials seem to belie that claim.
On Monday, March 1, Duterte would reiterate one of his campaign promises to cleanse the government of corrupt officials.
He would call out the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) during a televised meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force against Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), saying “hindi pa ako tapos sa DPWH.”
He would follow up this statement by telling corrupt government personnel to wait until his term is over and “wait for better times.”
He also issued what can only be described as a threat to corrupt officials.
This would come just before he would rattle off names of DPWH personnel who have been dismissed from service.
Pres. Duterte reads names of DPWH employees dismissed from service; issues warning, hindi pa ako tapos sa inyo @gmanews
— Joseph Morong 🇵🇭 (@Joseph_Morong) March 1, 2021
That last statement did not sit well with netizens, who started bringing out receipts to disprove Duterte’s claim of hating corrupt officials.
— PinoyAkoBlog (@PinoyAkoBlog) March 1, 2021
— chicken (@AlcantaraAntonx) March 1, 2021
Yung nanakaw na 15B ba nainvestigate and naretrieve na ba? https://t.co/4SgAH8YPh0
— M (@CharlieAngela24) March 2, 2021
philheath po ser?
saka yung mga vaccine loan, tapos donation yung vaccine na nakarating ahehe https://t.co/apMu4bJxsO
— 람부탄탄 (@uwugator) March 2, 2021
One netizen even did a quid-pro-quo with the president, dropping names of officials who either broke protocol or the law yet managed to get away unscathed—at least in the eyes of the law.
This netizen, however, has probably seen enough of Duterte’s empty threats after all the reshuffling the president has done.
Friends of Duterte with DPWH na sangkot daw sa korupsyon sabi niya. Be ready for transfer to another government agency.
— Homer Musni (@hmusni) March 1, 2021
The President’s “Clean Up” Drive
One of Duterte’s campaign promises from 2016 was to rid the government of corruption.
He would fast track laws and issue executive orders, raise salaries for government personnel, and, at one point, offered to clear policemen of any wrongdoing as long as it was for the good of the country.
Duterte’s latest target for his clean-up was the DPWH. Back in December 2020, Duterte dismissed several district engineers involved in corrupt practices.
These district engineers worked in tandem with their district representatives—the names of some Duterte would also drop in his televised address.
On Monday, Duterte would warn DPWH officials that he was not yet done purging corrupt officials and personnel from their ranks, going as far as to threaten them with charges at the Office of the Ombudsman.
Netizens, however, were wary of Duterte’s pronouncement, as he has a habit of merely reshuffling personnel instead of outright removing them from service.
One of the most notable cases is that of the country’s current top cop: Philippine National Police chief Debold Sinas.
Sinas earned the nickname “mañanita cop” after his subordinates held a birthday party for him ahead of his 55th birthday back in May, violating health and safety protocols.
Netizens would ask for his dismissal, but Duterte would instead “pardon” him and even promote him to PNP Chief.