By FRED M. LOBO
Malacañang has vowed to pursue and widen its fight against graft and corruption, to include more government officials and agencies allegedly involved in irregularities.
“No sacred cows… the axe should fall,” President Duterte vowed.
The President also ordered the clean-up of world-famous Manila Bay from pollution and eyesores as done in the Boracay island-resort.
Yes, let’s do a Boracay and restore Manila Bay as the sunset capital of the world.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte has ordered an expanded investigation on corruption and concerned government officials will be held accountable if proven guilty.
“Walang friendship, walang friendship. Kung may ebidensya, the axe should fall where it should,” Panelo said during a Palace news conference.
Malacañang said the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission has initiated a probe on complaints against top officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the National Commission on Indigenous People, and the results are just being awaited.
“If there’s evidence, the President will act on it,” Panelo said.
However, Panelo explained that the President’s stance on dismissing officials on a whiff of corruption meant an investigation has to be completed to warrant the imposition of a penalty.
“Pag sinabing whiff of corruption, mayroong substantial grounds. Pinapaimbestiga kaagad ni Presidente. Hindi naman basta porke’t inakusahan mo na nagnakaw ka, tatanggalin ka na agad. Hindi naman ganoon si President. He’s a lawyer,” he added.
Panelo cited that in recent months, the President fired several government officials, including military officers, for alleged corruption and other abuses in office.
If there’s a whiff of corruption, here comes the whip!
“The President’s policy ever since is there are no sacred cows in this administration. If you violate the law, regardless of your status, whether you’re a friend, ally, or political adversary, a relative or a fraternity brother, wala lahat ‘yun. You violate the law, you are accountable,” he said.
Yes to determined presidential action vs corruption. The law may be harsh but it is the law, as the legal maxim states.
Likewise, Malcañang said it is considering the abolition of the alleged corruption-plagued Road Board and the transfer of its huge revenue to the government’s general fund.
The controversial Road Board may be run over, too. Whew!
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the planned abolition of board and the transfer of its funds to the general fund will ensure transparency and accountability in the collection and disbursement of the Motor Vehicle User Charge (MVUC).
How much and where goes MVUC? MVUC may bukbok? Time for more transparency.
The finance chief added that the Road User’s Tax Fund should be covered by the comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP) and also scrutinized by lawmakers under the normal budgeting process.
As with accounting for other government funds, yes to “debit” and “credit” but no “kupit” of the road user’s tax.
Malacañang said it could close down establishments polluting Manila Bay as part of its planned rehabilitation program like what was done in Boracay.
“Of course, the policy of the government is if you violate certain regulations, then you have to pay for that,” Panelo said.
Panelo said President Duterte is prepared to show “political will” to enforce the cleanup of Manila Bay as “we will replicate what we did in Boracay and in other areas.”
Yes, Manila Bay is dirty and sick, call Dr. DU30 very quick!