Philippine President Duterte hopes successor to be resolute vs. corruption

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday expressed hope that his successor would be resolute in preventing corrupt practices at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

PREVENT CORRUPT PRACTICES. President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivers his message during the inauguration of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project at the Del Monte Toll Plaza, Northbound Exit of the MMSS-3 located at G. Araneta Avenue corner Del Monte Avenue in Quezon City on Thursday (Jan. 14, 2021). Duterte expressed hope that his successor would be resolute in preventing corrupt practices at the Department of Public Works and Highways. (Screenshot)


In a speech during the inauguration of Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project, Duterte expressed hope that the next President would also go after officials involved in anomalous biddings for infrastructure projects by the district engineering offices of the DPWH.

“I hope that the next President would be as forceful and resolute to confront this almost evil practice of people going around the country, naghahanap ng mga bidding tapos paghati-hatian lang nila kaya ang mga proyekto natin, ang pera ng Pilipino hindi sapat doon sa budgeted sa isang eksuwelahan…because of corruption (looking for bidding and then splitting it among themselves that’s why we lack funds to put up schools),” he said.

Upon Duterte’s orders, the Department of Justice (DOJ) in October 2020 investigated government-wide corruption, starting with the DPWH.

“With the ongoing revamp, I expect a more…when I leave the office, medyo kailangan lang i-control ng susunod sa akin (my successor will need to be able to control them),” he said.

He also congratulated DPWH Mark Villar for initiating a “total revamp” in his agency.

Late last month, Duterte bared the names of nine incumbent and former lawmakers allegedly involved in anomalous infrastructure projects.

The list of names was given to Duterte by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) which recently initiated a probe on the alleged corruption in the DPWH.

He, however, clarified that the inclusion in the PACC list does not mean “condemnation or indictment.”

Duterte said they were entitled to presumption of innocence until proven guilty, adding the public should not take the list as “gospel truth.”

Meanwhile, Duterte also thanked the Supreme Court for heeding his call not to delay infrastructure projects with restraining orders.

“Sabi ko (I said) ‘Stop it. Unless there is really a compelling reason for the graft and corruption involved, do not delay. Do not hinder the progress of the country,’” he said. (PNA)

By Azer Parrocha, PNA  January 14, 2021