By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte has appointed retired Army General Ricardo Morales as the new chairman of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).
Duterte made the announcement of choosing the former Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) member almost two months after parts of Metro Manila was hit by a water supply crisis.
“Ang kinuha kong chairman sa MWSS, si Dick Morales, Dick. Kaya lang maputi, malikot ang utak niyan. Pero try niyo. ‘Yon ‘yung sundalo na RAM na nahuli sa Malacañang. Rebelde pala (I got as MWSS chairman Dick Morales. But he is white, he has a playful mind. But try him out. He was a RAM member, but it turned out he was a rebel),” he said.
“I think si… ‘Yan ‘yung nasa TV na sinampal ni Imelda. Taga-Davao ‘yan (I think he was the one slapped by former first lady Imelda Marcos on TV. He’s from Davao),” he added.
Duterte earlier explained his habit of appointing retired military officials to the government, saying they get things done right and quick.
Other military officials that the President has taken in under his wing are former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chiefs Eduardo Año as Interior Secretary, Rey Guerrero as Customs Commissioner.
Duterte also appointed former AFP chief Roy Cimatu as Environment Secretary and retired general Eduardo Del Rosario as Housing chief.
The MWSS is under Duterte’s scrutiny due to the water crisis experienced in some parts of Metro Manila in March. Last month, Duterte threatened to replace all MWSS officials if the water supply continues during El Niño.
“It comes with regularity…’yang El Niño na ‘yan. Ilang taon kayo nandiyan and you do not prepare for it? And when it comes, walang tubig ‘yung mga tao (El Niño comes regularly. You are there for so many years and you do not prepare for it? And when it comes, the people have no water),” Duterte said.
According to the President, a lot of Filipino engineers abroad are waiting to have opportunities here in the country, noting that many of them are smarter, brighter, and more capable than the current officials of the MWSS.
“Maraming Pilipino dito. Maraming engineers dito na galing sa labas…lahat marunong hindi lang nakikilala (There are many Filipino engineers here and outside the country. They are all learned but are not known),” Duterte said.
“There are millions of Filipinos waiting outside…brighter than you. Kaya lang, hindi lang kilala kasi hindi mga politiko (We do not know them because they are not politicians). I will not hesitate to replace you all,” he added.
Duterte also told the water concessionaires operated by the elites to fix first their water supply problem and end the people’s agony.
‘Yung mga taga-Maynila…wala nang ligo, wala nang hilamos, wala na lahat. Sinabi ko sa inyo eh. Ayan (The people in Manila have not bathed or washed their face. I am telling you). I’m not trying to blame you but that’s what you get for getting people ‘yung mga elitista-elitista (who belong to the elite),” he said.
“Why do you have to cause a problem for the people when there are things that you can do at once…ibig kong sabihin (What I mean is), you derail everything in life,” he added.
“Kaya ako, pagka ganun, wala akong pasensya (I really have no patience for things like this). Either you can hack it or not. If you don’t, sorry, ” he continued.