Duterte threatens to 'shut down' PLDT for busy anti-graft hotline

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 26) — President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to "shut down" PLDT Inc. if the telecommunications giant did not set up more trunk lines for the national citizen's complaint hotline.

"Og naa moy nakit-an nga corruption, tawga ko o pahibaw-a ko sa 8888. Kin --- Bong, padungagi ra na'g trunk line. Dili kaya sa present setup. Sige busy. Ingnang PLDT. Og dili, sila may akong sirhan," Duterte said during the campaigning of the PDP-Laban slate on Sunday.

[Translation: If you see corruption, tell me. Call 8888. Bong, add another trunk line. The present setup can't accommodate all the calls. It's always busy. Tell PLDT. If not, I'll shut down their business.]

The '8888' is the Citizen's Complaint Hotline for government malpractices such as red tape, graft, and corruption.

"I don't want to brag, but they owe government eight billion. No President has ever asked for payment," Duterte said. He did not elaborate.

PLDT Spokesperson Mon Isberto said the telco is attending to Duterte's complaints.

"We are currently taking steps to address the concern expressed by the President to improve the public's access to the Citizen's Complaint Center 8888 hotline number," Isberto said in a message to CNN Philippines Tuesday.

The trunkline, along with the 911 emergency hotline, was introduced on August 1, 2016. It is a 24-hour service.

The executive order that established the complaint center requires a concrete and specific solution for each concern within 72 hours.