News Release

President Duterte to officials: Avoid corruption, abuse during emergency situation

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte updates the nation on the government's efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on March 30, 2020. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Officials committing abuses and misdeeds under the current emergency situation may land in detention or face suspension, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte warned on Monday.

As the country confronts the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), President Duterte tasked local chief executives and village chiefs to distribute money and relief goods.

“Pero talagang ‘pag nagkamali kayo dito, hindi ko kayo palusutin. I will see to it even tomorrow, if I discover some embezzlements, some hoarding there, at dina-divert ‘yung pagkain sa mga tao na dapat hindi sa kanila, you better think,” the President warned officials during his address to the nation.

“I am not a cruel man. Pero kung may report ang pulis, I will order your detention hanggang matapos itong COVID-19.”

The President told the officials to avoid corruption and not to politicize the situation. “People sometimes think that they own whatever they receive from government. This is not yours, neither is it mine.”

“Pero kung mamulitika ka tapos mabalitaan ko na ‘yan ang nagawa mo, I will suspend you ora mismo. And for those who are really absconding the money, I will detain you,” the President said.

Allaying public fears, he told the Filipino people that the government has the resources to address the current health emergency.

The government also accepts donations and contributions and an office audits and accounts all the assistance to maintain procedural integrity.

Meanwhile, the President acknowledged the contributions of businesses, organizations, foreign governments as well as private individuals in the government’s relief efforts.

“On behalf of the Filipino people, I thank you for your compassion and your generosity, and my personal gratitude,” the President said. PND