Duterte to fire more corrupt officials

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 12) — President Rodrigo Duterte will fire more top officials and police generals in the next few days as part of a corruption "purge."

Duterte, on Thursday, said he is on a firing spree to rid the government of corrupt officials.

"I am firing another chairman of an entity in government maybe this week and another set of mga policemen... I am in the thick of firing people. I intend to fire another maybe 70 policemen and three generals for corruption," he said during a speech at a Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) event in Manila.

His spokesperson Harry Roque said aside from the agency head, Duterte will also fire a chairman of a government-owned company.

"He is scheduled to replace a chairman of a government-owned and controlled corporation, but not really for graft, for other reasons. It may appear there will be a second chairman that may be replaced because of graft," he said on Friday.

The President, whose campaign promise includes eradicating corruption in the government, said the public can expect more officials to be fired.

"This is really a purging regime. I think that I have been spending a lot of time just to clean up government," Duterte said.

Duterte added, "It's still graft and corruption. It has been pulling us down through the years... I will not hesitate. I have fired so many before and I will fire so many of you now and in the future."

He said some policemen are involved in kidnappings and extortion.

His spokesperson, Harry Roque, earlier said Duterte will also fire three presidential appointees based on complaints.

Duterte has sacked several Cabinet members and government officials over alleged corrupt practices.

Duterte fired on January 4 Philippine Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) chief Marcial Amaro III over alleged junkets. Amaro maintained his trips abroad were for official business, and a certain business group was behind the move to replace him.

Duterte also let go of former Dangerous Drugs Board Chief Diniosio Santiago and former Interior Secretary Ismael "Mike" Sueno for alleged corruption.

"Let's just say that he has given the message to everyone: If you want to travel, make money, join the private sector. You have no place in government," Roque said on January 9.

Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said they will be harsh and will show no mercy to police scalawags.

"Maybe we will be harsher this time around. Harsh, harsh, harsh. Harsh to the harshest level. Basta wala kaming patawad. (We will have no mercy.) No mercy kami sa mga tiwaling pulis (rogue policemen)," dela Rosa said in a media briefing on January 8.

The dismissal of corrupt police officers is part of the internal cleansing in the agency.