MANILA, Philippines – Still not enough.
That is how President Rodrigo Duterte assesses his administration's fight against corruption, so far. To make up for the insufficient efforts, he plans to be harsher on government agencies, he said on Monday, August 15.
"I will be very, maybe, harsh – double the word – in the coming days because it seems that my appeal that this should be a clean government is not registering at all in the gray matter between the ears of some people in government," he said during a speech at the oath-taking ceremony of government appointees in Malacañang Palace.
Duterte specified two government agencies as still being corruption-ridden: the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Land Transportation Office (LTO).
"LTFRB and LTO, they are still at it and to think I placed there General Galvante and Delgra...I was meeting the businessmen of CDO, was it 5 nights ago, and the complaint was still there," said the President.
Duterte said the requirements of due process, which many criticize him of trivializing, make it challenging to implement the massive government revamp that he wants in order to pull out corruption by its roots.
"I do not want to ignore due process which I loathe to do pero apparently itong sa gobyerno mahirap tanggalin 'yung nandiyan niya (but apparently this corruption in government is hard to eradicate). You need another generation of workers to do the job," he said.
Duterte repeated his promise to publicly name more public officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade. This new list would contain mostly the names of police, some judges, and some politicians.
"I still have to show to you the list of the rest of the scalawags in government – more judges, more policemen, mainly, and some politicians," he said.
Duterte has already announced 3 lists of allegedly drug-tainted individuals – a list of 158 local government leaders, police, congressmen, and judges; a list of 5 police generals; and a list of 3 Chinese drug lords.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.