President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday promised to continue his anti-corruption campaign to rid the government of corrupt people particularly those involved in orchestrated public bidding that result in unfinished public works projects.
“I’m on a purging spree. And I will continue to do this, I supposed, I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll be firing more people from government,” President Duterte said in his speech during the inauguration of new Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management Systems in Pasay City.
Duterte made this warning after he dismissed several top government officials over excessive foreign trips this month.
“And those who are into the wanderlust or are itchy for travel and wasting the many things that you do there without necessarily an impact on the lives of the people, better think of resigning,” he said.
President Duterte said he has also many faults but when it comes to money, “it has never been an issue” even during his 40 years of service as vice mayor, mayor and congressman of Davao City.
“There are a lot of things that I have to change and face the challenge of the moment,” Duterte said.
Duterte said public bidding in the guise of lowest bid is another source of corruption particularly in the public works projects.
“This public bidding that is lowest bid, I don’t know why all of us, thinking Filipinos, millions of us has or have until now tolerated this source of corruption every day,” the President said.
He said ‘a cartel of idiots’ just go from one city to another waiting for news about a bidding and they would pretend to be bidders who will pay local officials just to get the project.
“Then you get the product that’s not really even worth a third of what government really has. That’s the problem,” he added. “Because every day that a certain contract is bidded out, it’s always tainted with corruption, 90 percent.”
Duterte warned that he will go after the winning bidders who failed to finish the public works projects at specified timetable.
“The highways in the Philippines are clogged with unfinished products and accidents multiply because of the sheer negligence also of the people handling the project. This insanity must stop,” Duterte said.
“If you have the contract and you incur a delay of 30 days, I’ll take over. I’ll give it to another contractor which has the money to continue and I will not pay you, you go to court, then we will fight it out,” he added.
The President also warned the local government officials “who are deadwoods” that he will not hesitate to dismiss them.
“I’m warning the local government officials. I do not want to threaten you but you just do your duty also because remember I can always suspend or dismiss you if I want to,” he said. (Jelly Musico/PNA)