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Duterte reveals removal of entire Customs administrative section

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By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has announced the removal of the entire administrative section of the Bureau of Customs (BoC), saying he will never forgive those involved in corruption.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the mass oath taking of newly appointed government officials at the Malacañan Palace on July 8, 2019. (ALFRED FRIAS / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the mass oath taking of newly appointed government officials at the Malacañan Palace on July 8, 2019. (ALFRED FRIAS / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President said he told the affected 64 customs workers to report to Malacañang for their next cleaning assignment.

“Yesterday, tinanggal ko sa trabaho the entire administrative section sa Customs. Tinanggal ko silang lahat, 64 of them [I dismissed the entire administrative section in Customs yesterday (Thursday). I remove all 64 of them],” Duterte said during a thanksgiving event for overseas Filipino workers at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

“Galit talaga ako sa corruption. Galit na galit ako sa… Magkasala ka, huwag ‘yang corruption kasi hindi kita talaga papatawarin [I’m really angry with corruption. You may commit a sin but it should not corruption because I will really not forgive you],” he added.

Duterte admitted that he was fed up with corruption in the customs bureau, prompting him to dismiss the entire administrative section. He claimed that it was Customs chief Rey Guerrero who suggested to “fire everyone” if he really wanted to stamp out corruption in the agency.

“All that I ask is that you avoid corruption. ‘Yang Customs na ‘yan, sabi nila hindi maputol-putol na — sa Bisaya napura. Napuno na ako. Kaya sabi ko, “Hindi talaga mahinto itong p**** i**** ‘to, umalis kayong lahat [They said corruption can’t be stopped in Customs. I was fed up so I said, ‘If these sons of a b**** won’t stop, you’re all fired],” Duterte said.

For their next assignment, Duterte has directed the concerned customs employees to clean up the water lilies floating along Pasig River.

“Doon kayo mag-report sa Pasig. Doon sa opisina ko — pinaka… Ang barge ko magpunta ako doon sa opisina sa Pasig, galing dito sa kabila, hindi na makalusot dahil sa water lily. ‘Yun ang ipatrabaho ko sa kanila para makalusot ako doon sa Malacañan [Report to Pasig, report to my office. I ride the barge to cross Pasig River to my office. Sometimes it cannot cross because there are water lilies. That will be their job to clean them up so I can cross to Malacañang],” he said.

Last Thursday, the President said he would relieve 64 Customs employees from their duties due to corruption. The concerned workers have also been asked to help the President to help him “craft a new implementing rules of how not to rob a country properly.”

The President meantime has left to the Office of the Ombudsman to file charges against alleged corrupt customs employees.

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