President Rodrigo Duterte joined on Thursday, October 26, the 6th Philippine Professional Summit held in Manila, renewing his commitment to make the country safe, progressive and free from corruption and criminality.
In his message to the country’s professionals, the President raised the major challenges that the country confronts today such as terrorism, corruption, criminality and illegal drugs.
The President said he worries about renewed attacks from Islamic extremism that is connected to the violence in Mindanao. And as the government wraps up its security operations in Marawi City, he warned about possible retaliatory attacks from Islamist terrorists after they were defeated in Marawi.
“May I just remind you to be vigilant and always (to be)aware that extremism is the problem of the planet today,” President Duterte said.
“Retaliation and vengeance is not far-fetched. So that you might want to just also be ready. Not at this time, but to, I said, raise your awareness of how dangerous the world is today.”
The President stressed that ISIS-inspired terrorists might resort to lone wolf attacks similar to what Islamists did in Europe.
President Duterte also mentioned corruption and how it affected the country’s social fabric.
“In everything that you do in your profession, in the economic growth of the country, growth in the areas of construction, everything, infrastructure, well, whatever it is… corruption was always a part of our lives,” President Duterte said.
He said he is committed to fight corruption, noting that he can’t do it alone.
The President said he wants the public to help his government by being assertive and vigilant. He said corruption would not prosper if the people would not tolerate it.
President Duterte then encouraged the public to contact him directly or use the anti-corruption mechanisms that he has set up to get rid of unscrupulous officials. The people could also call hotline 8888 to raise their complaints.
“The first whiff nga sinabi ko, if it’s a case of corruption, you can go to my office or you can make an appointment and tell me about it. I will give you that privilege, to the ordinary citizen and to the rich people. If you think that you are aggrieved by corruption, I will give you that privilege,” Duterte said.
Expressing his seriousness against corruption, the President said he recently fired two undersecretaries for using their position.
The President also vowed to go after abusive big businesses that do not pay correct taxes and evade accountability. He said he has no political baggage because he rejected campaign donations from top business interests during the last election.
At the same time, he renewed his commitment to eliminate illegal drugs in the country, which he said threatens the next generation of Filipinos. He told his audience not to believe politically-motivated accusations against his administration’s campaign versus the drug trade.
The 6th Philippine Professional Summit was spearheaded by the Philippine Association of the Professional Regulatory Board Members Inc. (PAPRB) in cooperation with the Philippine Regulations Commission (PRC). ### PND