By Genalyn Kabiling
In line with his zero tolerance policy for corruption, President Duterte has dismissed Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) secretary general Falconi Millar for alleged involvement in corruption.
The President announced Thursday that he signed the dismissal order of Millar, saying the housing official was in “deep sh*t.”
“Just before I left my office, I signed a dismissal order ‘yung secretary-general ng Housing. A certain Millar. Binasa ko ‘yung resume kanina tinitingnan ko ‘yung termination, I knew what a deep s*** the guy has created,” Duterte said during the inauguration of the Cavite Gateway Terminal in Tanza, Cavite.
“Valedictorian sa law class and everything but I don’t know…Somehow along the way…. corruption creeps in,” he said.
Duterte, a former Davao City mayor, acknowledged that power can corrupt people.
“When you are there… secretary-general, you have the power, you have the authority. You can do corruption and it can corrupt you, give you a little or it corrupts you absolutely,” he said.
“That’s the sad story about this government,” he added, citing the irregularities uncovered in the military hospital and the Nayong Pilipino contract.
Millar was appointed by the President to the HUDCC post in September, 2017. He previously served as Tourism undersecretary for oversight function for legislative matters.
Before the President’s speech in Cavite, Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo announced that the termination of Millar’s service was “effective immediately.”
He maintained that there are “no sacred cows” in the administration amid the President’s campaign against corruption.
“As the President said, he will not tolerate even a whiff of corruption in the Executive Branch of Government,” Panelo said.
“The Palace is announcing the termination of services of Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Secretary-General Falconi V. Millar due to allegations of corruption. The President’s order takes effect immediately,” he said.
Panelo did not elaborate on the corruption allegations against Millar.
But Millar, who is part of the Task Force Bangon Marawi, claimed that he tendered his resignation Thursday morning.
“It is an obvious demolition job. In protecting the interest of the government, I have annoyed some personalities. I filed my resignation this morning,” he said.
Panelo assured the public there would uninterrupted delivery of public service even after the dismissal of Millar.
“We assure the public that the delivery of public services shall unimpededly continue, especially in rehabilitating Marawi City and other affected areas,” he said.
Duterte, meantime, admitted that he was having a hard time fighting corruption in the bureaucracy. But he remains committed to weed out corrupt public servants and asked the public to report any irregularity to the proper authorities.
In his recent visit to Papua New Guinea, the President had said he would fire another government official for alleged corruption when he returns to the country.