By Genalyn Kabiling
PORT MORESBY — Another top government official allegedly involved in corruption will be next on President Duterte’s chopping block.
The President said he would fire another government official as soon as he returns to the Philippines from his visit to Papua New Guinea.
Duterte is scheduled to arrive in Davao City early Sunday morning after cutting short his three-day visit to Papua New Guinea where he attended the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
Duterte joined 20 other APEC economic leaders for the annual summit that focused on strengthening regional trade concerns such as connectivity, digital trade, and sustainable growth. The two-day summit, which opened Saturday, carries the theme “Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future.”
At the opening of the summit, Duterte and other leaders held a dialogue with the APEC Business Advisory Council or ABAC, followed by a meeting with the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum.
The group, which had its first family photo, was also expected to attend a gala dinner and cultural performance hosted by this year’s APEC host Papua New Guinea.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez has been designated to serve as the President’s special representative for the remainder of the APEC events on Sunday.
President Duterte came from Singapore where he participated in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
“Sinabi ko I will try to stop corruption… and when I go back, meron na naman. Talagang tanggalin kita, sorry na lang [And when I go back, there will be another official. I will really remove you. Sorry],” Duterte said during a meeting with the Filipino community Friday night.
On the same day,
Three DSWD Usecs
On Wednesday, Malacanang terminated the services of three social welfare undersecretaries. No reason was given in the termination letter signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea dated November 14 obtained by Manila Bulletin.
Terminated were Maria Lourdes Turalde-Jarabe, Undersecretary for Promotive Operations and Programs Group, Hope Hervilla, Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group, and Mae Fe Ancheta-Templa, Undersecretary for Protective Operations and Programs Group (POPG).
The three were appointed to the DSWD in 2016.
Before joining DSWD, Turalde served as a deputy secretary general of the women’s group Gabriela and one of the nominees of the Gabriela Women’s Partylist.
Hervilla, on the other hand was once a Bayan Muna regional chairman and a party list nominee in 2013.
Ancheta-Templa was reportedly recommended to former DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo by the Forum of Women for Action with Rody Duterte or ForwaRD Women.
The group where Ancheta-Templa served as a co-convener was established in Davao City in February 2016.
Taguiwalo’s appointment was rejected by the Commission on Appointments. She was replaced by retired Philippine Army chief Rolando Bautista.
President Duterte told the Filipino community that he was dismayed that some of the officials who convinced him to run in 2016 to rid the government of the corrupt were the first to commit offenses.
“I fired a Cabinet member during a Cabinet meeting for lying. Alam mo may tinatanong ako sa kanya, ‘Did you consult your legal office?’ Sabi niya, “No.” Si Sonny (Dominguez) naman itinulak niya ‘yung cellphone niya — ‘yung cellphone mo. Nakalagay doon, ‘This guy is lying,'” he said.
“So nag-init ang ulo ko because I should trust him. At saka maski na hindi ko kababata, nobody would foist a lie like that. Na nag-init ang ulo ko,” Duterte narrated.
He said he has many friends who have been with him since he served as mayor of Davao City in 1988.
“Ang naasar ako and what pisses me off, ‘yung style ba na, “Rod, tumakbo ka na kasi ang bayan natin wala talaga. Ganun, ganun.” Akala mo naman the crusading saints of the country only to be the first to commit,” he said. (with a report from Zea Capistrano)