Duterte comes down hard on systematic corruption

Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ newly elected President, is making sure the nation is under no illusions when it comes to his anti-corruption stance.

Duterte gave a speech at the 69th anniversary of the Philippines Air Force on Tuesday, and during it specifically named five current and previous police figures allegedly part of the illegal drug trade. His public ‘naming and shaming’ shows the force with which he is prepared to meet corrupt public service officials.

The President specifically pointed the finger at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as offices in need of overhaul. Duterte advised newly appointed BOC Chief Nicanor Faeldon, as well as the new BIR Head, Cesar Dulay, to eradicate corruption within their agencies.

His overarching message was that corrupt officials, and those they’re in cahoots with, are being watched and will be caught. He offered those currently engaging in corrupt dealings a clear warning, saying “Stop. You place yourself in jeopardy of going to prison.”

Nothing illustrated Duterte’s zero-tolerance approach more than his implication that corruption may result in death if an official charge couldn’t be laid, saying that if he is unable to present adequate evidence in court to yield a jail sentence, he’ll kill officials charged with corruption in the name of justice.

Duterte campaigned on the ambitious goal of suppressing government corruption in 3 to 6 months, and it looks like he has every intention of achieving that goal – no matter what it takes.

MOHD RASFAN/AFP/GETTY

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