Leading the mass oath taking of new government appointees on August 29, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte emphasized that he does not want investigations on corruption to last more than one month, through his creation of an Anti-Graft Commission.
The President said that the he shall create this new office and appoint at least three persons to handle it. “Mayroon akong gustong kunin, pero ‘di papayag ‘yan (I want to get someone but they will not agree). Justice talaga (A real justice) One or two or three. And maybe a lady na ‘yung (who is) not identified with me nor identified with the other group,” he said.
Duterte narrated exampled instances in which corruption was present in the different forms, levels, and personalities in the government – like booking suites instead of ordinary rooms during business trips. He however, clarified that during his trips, it was the host countries that offer and prepare these luxuries for him; not availed through the people’s money.
“I rely on documents that are given to us here in the Palace. I do not put a premium of truth in it actually. But something that is transmitted to us officially. And when it… if that is the situation, I have to make it public,” he said that people may criticize that their complaints are not addressed by his office.
In line with this, the President criticized Conchita Carpio-Morales and expressed his frustration over the ‘slow-paced’ responses to the cases filed in the Office of the Ombudsman.
“Bakit ang (How come the) Ombudsman matagal na siya d’yan, natapos na lang itong si Aquino (who has been in position for a long time even after Aquino), why can’t they just wind up the cases against the senators?” he said.
Duterte added, “Harsh on some, soft on others even when they all suffer from similar or analogous circumstances. Slow to act on complaints against the ‘friendly’ but quick to decide against perceived ‘hostiles.’ The enemy of the Ombudsman’s friend is the Ombudsman’s enemy too, so it seems. That is how I see it from where I stand.”
However he reminded it is ‘not yet late’ to use the remaining months of her term to prove and serve according to her office’s mandate without favor and bias. “I implore you, let justice be done,” he said.
The President then warned that he will not think twice to suspend or dismiss presidential appointees found to be involved in corruption.