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Duterte to fire GOCC exec, 3 generals, 70 policemen

As part of his continuing efforts to rid the government of corruption, President Duterte announced his plan to fire a chairman of a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) and at least 70 policemen as well as three generals in the coming days.
“I am in the thick of firing people. I intend to fire another maybe 70 or 49 policemen and three generals for corruption,” he said in his speech during a Pagcor event at the Manila Hotel, adding that he might be spending his remaining four years in cleaning up corruption in government.
This, as Duterte also called on officials and employees of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) as well as gambling licensees in the country not to engage in graft and corruption.
Duterte commended the gambling industry for boosting the country’s economy but reminded them to stay away from corruption.
“I can give you the assurance, we welcome you. I thank you for the income that we are earning from the gambling community,” Duterte said.
“I want to stress again the point that you can come in, expand, do business peacefully but please avoid graft and corruption whether you are the giver or the receiver,” he added.
He reiterated that he would not show mercy to corrupt government officials and encouraged businessmen to report them either directly to him or to his officials or through the Citizens’ Complaint Hotline 8888.
“Please do not give them the luxury of extortion. All you have to do is just you can call anybody in government… And I will take care of it,” he said.
“All I have to do is for you to cooperate and I said do not give in to extortionist. Be it the police, the BIR, Customs, because if I know it, I’ll make it hard for you,” he added.
He noted that corruption in government must be stopped because it was pulling the country down.

Rody’s tormentor
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV yesterday assailed the pronouncements of the President threatening to “purge” his administration of corrupt officials.
Trillanes said Duterte should be the one purged given that the President has been alleged to be corrupt, having failed to disclose and disprove to public his charges of purported billions of undisclosed bank accounts.
“Maniniwala lang ako sa purging na ‘yan ni Duterte pag pinakita nya na ‘yung mga bank accounts nya (The only way I will believe in Duterte’s acts if he would disclose his bank accounts),” he said in text message to reporters.
“Kasi hanggang ngayon, hindi pa rin nya mapaliwanag kung bakit meron syang bilyon bilyong piso (bank deposits) (Until now, he did not come up yet with explanation why he has billions on his accounts),” Trillanes said.
In the event that it will be proven that the President is keeping a multibillion-peso accounts, it is likely that he will be the one who will be end up “purged” by the public, the senator said.
Days before the May 2016 presidential elections, Trillanes came out with an exposé alleging that Duterte kept large sums of undeclared money.
The senator continued, even until last year, in claiming that the President has supposedly more than P2 billion in his bank accounts even when he was still serving as mayor of Davao City.
In his most recent speaking engagement, the President announced that he will fire another chairman of a government agency and three police generals due to corruption issue.
Duterte said intends to cleanse the government in the next few days.

Gum-chewing
habit explained
Meanwhile, Duterte, who has a habit of chewing gum in public, even while meeting world leaders, has revealed he did it to ease pain from a spinal condition.
The fiery 72-year-old has upset traditional decorum by lacing his speeches with curses, chewing gum in public, and wearing casual clothes, sometimes dispensing with socks.
Duterte affirmed his gum habit during a speech to a private audience on Thursday, when he suggested how people should repay him for his public service.
“Just pay me chewing gum because it eases up the pain when I’m chewing,” he said, according to a transcript of the speech released by his office Friday.
He suggested it had something to do with a “spinal” condition but did not elaborate.
“It eases a bit,” he added.
Protocol-conscious Japanese officials were on faux pas alert ahead of a meeting with revered Emperor Akihito last year after a video of Duterte with Chinese President Xi Jinping showed him apparently chewing gum — considered rude on such an occasion.
A photo of Duterte meeting with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamouni in 2016 also showed him with rolled-up sleeves and an open collar, drawing unfavorable social media comments, according to the Cambodian press.
Duterte, the oldest ever Filipino president, regularly displays similar unconventional behavior and fashion sense at official functions in the Philippines.
In 2006 he revealed that he used to take fentanyl, a powerful painkiller that is often prescribed for cancer pain and other chronic ailments, because of a spinal injury from previous motorcycle accidents.
Duterte has also said he suffers from daily migraines and ailments including a rare cardiovascular condition characterized by inflammation of blood vessels usually due to smoking.
Angie M. Rosales, PNA and AFP

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