MALACAÑANG — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday, September 19, emphasized to the newly sworn Liga ng mga Barangay officials the importance of their role in attaining peace and order and a graft-free nation.
President Duterte pointed this out during the oath-taking ceremony of Liga ng mga Barangay (LNB) National Board Officers and National Chapter Presidents, which was held at the Rizal Hall of Malacañan Palace .
The Chief Executive stressed that the country would not progress without the assistance and active participation of local executives in their respective communities.
“One thing is very clear to me… without the assistance and the active governance of barangay captains, municipal mayors, wala talaga mangyari dito,” President Duterte said.
“As long as we are not able to impose law and order, magulo ang ating bayan. And for as long as corruption will not stop, I tell you, forget about dreaming a place for our children and their children in the years to come,” he added.
The President further expressed his desire for the Philippines to be great again, like it was before.
However, with the existing situation wherein the nation is facing several predicaments, particularly in the area of law and order and corruption, he said that it might take more years for the country to reach the current successes of Malaysia and Indonesia.
“With our slow moving economy plus a corruption na unabated, ah patay talaga,” President Duterte pointed out.
He then stated that his desire in ending corruption is not just an expression.
There was just one moment when he asked the Congress to grant him emergency powers to fix the traffic congestion in EDSA, which up to this day was not granted.
“So ang hiningi ko noon…I could be given emergency powers. Emergency powers simply means that you can buy anything without a bidding. And it was given to Marcos and Cory during their time about the energy. Itong EDSA, I cannot repair it with saliva. I need to spend. I need to have money,” President Duterte explained.
“In the early days of my administration, when it was floated around, I was informed that most Congress members — ayaw nila kasi malaki daw ‘yung pera, baka mapunta nang graft and corruption. Kung ganun ang pagkaintindi ninyo, huwag na. What for? There’s always the hanging suspicion that I am there for the money. Huwag na lang. Hayaan mo na,” he added.
Towards the end of his speech, President Duterte advised the newly sworn officials to be cautious in signing projects in their community to avoid delinquency.
He also reminded them, especially those who are starting a career in governance to guard their integrity by avoiding corruption.
“So just be careful. Kung pirmahan mo lang naman, see to it that it is done properly. When it’s not, better say, ‘No, I’m not ready to face any… Baka masisira lang pagkatao ko diyan,” he noted.
“Improve ko lang itong graft and corruption pati law and order, okay na ‘yan. That would be a good start. It cannot be the beginning. It cannot also be an end. But at least it’s a good start somewhere,” President Duterte said with optimism. ###PND