Bong Go: ‘Duterte’s thrust against corruption is head-strong’

Special Assistant to the President Secretary Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Wednesday warned vice mayors in the country not to engage in corruption.

Speaking during the 2nd Quarter Meeting of the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines at the Diamond Hotel in Malate, Manila, Go said, “Nakita nyo naman po si Boss (President Rodrigo Duterte). Kahit mga kaibigan niya, mahal niya, malapit sa kanya, pag corruption ang pinag-uusapan, even a whiff of corruption, talagang pinapa-resign at tinatanggal niya, (You have seen how Boss works. Even his friends, his loved ones, those close to him, when we talk of corruption, even a whiff of corruption, he asks them to resign or fire them)” Go said.

Fighting corruption is Duterte’s thrust even during his term as Davao City mayor, he said.

“Ayaw niya talaga ng corruption kaya ine-encourage niya lahat na magsumbong sa kanya kung merong kayong nalalaman. Sa Davao City noon, sa mga nagfa-follow up sa ganito sa ganyan sa permits, sabi niya kung merong mag-offer magbigay, huwag mong tulungan. Pero pag hindi nagbigay, yun ang tulungan mo. Baliktad siya. Ayaw niyang nasasanay ung tao sa lagay (He doesn’t want corruption that’s why he encourages everyone to speak up if they know something. In Davao City, for those who are making a follow up on their permits, the mayor said if somebody offers to give something, don’t help him. But if he did not give anything, help him. He does the opposite. He doesn’t want people to get used to accepting bribes),” Go noted.

“Sabi niya, tulungan natin ung mga investors kaya ung nangyari sa kanya nung naging Presidente. Alam ng mga negosyante sa Davao noon, ayaw ni Mayor Rody ng corruption (He said ‘Let’s help investors’. That was what happened when he became President. The businessmen in Davao know that Mayor Rody hates corruption),” he added.

The President has repeatedly warned government officials to veer away from corruption or face dismissal and charges.

Duterte has earlier fired two former commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for their alleged involvement in PHP50-million bribery in exchange for the freedom of undocumented Chinese workers who were arrested in an online casino in Pampanga in 2016.

Likewise, he accepted the resignation of then Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II for the dismissal of cases against drug lords due to insuffiency of evidence.

The latest Cabinet official to quit from her post was Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo after the Commission on Audit questioned the agency’s PHP60-million advertisement contract it has entered with Bitag Media Unlimited Inc., the producer of the show hosted by her brothers aired in state-run PTV 4.