Avid supporters were engaged in corruption, Duterte laments

Philippine president had sacked a number of officials, including members of his Cabinet, in previous months

Manila: President Rodrigo Duterte has chided former supporters who had hidden motives in backing his presidency. He said he had already sacked a number of such officials.

“Resist any temptation that will taint your honour and reputation as public servants,” the president said in his speech following the mass swearing-in of presidential nominees at the palace on Tuesday evening.

Duterte, whose presidency is nearing its second year in office, lamented that those who had avidly urged him to run for office turned out to be engaged in corruption.

“I’m very sad to inform you that as of last week I fired another set of high officials. To my chagrin these were the guys who went back and forth to Davao to convince me to run [for presidency],” he said.

“They told me: ‘Go on mayor, run for office. We need you to rehabilitate everything and stop corruption. All the while they were egging me to run for office so that they would engage in wrongdoing themselves,” he said. Duterte was Davao City mayor before clinching the top post in the May 2016 election.

Duterte had sacked a number of officials, including members of his Cabinet, in previous months.

During Tuesday’s oath-taking ceremony, Duterte said government officials are called to embody the highest standards of inclusiveness, openness and impartiality in their respective offices.

“Remember, you are pledging your commitment to the ethical and honourable behavior as government officials. You are committing to do something that is larger than yourselves,” he said.

On Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that another official was on the way out.

“I know there is [an undersecretary] scheduled to be fired. I’m not sure if it has been announced,” Roque said.

Meanwhile, Labour Undersecretary Dominador Say said he is resigning from his post.

Say had been under criticism recently for his actions, which were perceived to be favouring the labour sector.

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