A country in trouble.
This was how President Rodrigo Duterte described the state of the Philippines if he resigns and Vice President Leni Robredo takes over.
In two of his public addresses in Malacañang last Tuesday night, the President called out Robredo for her supposed clueless take on the law despite being a lawyer, particularly when she criticized Mr. Duterte over his remarks that policemen are allowed to receive “tokens.”
“Ma’am, it will be bad if you are the President of the Philippines. You do not even read the book,” he said.
“I quoted the very words, anti-graft and corrupt practices. There is an exemption there. Nominal. I use the word, nominal, out of gratitude. You know Filipinos are like that. Then Leni says, ‘It’s illegal and unconstitutional,’” he added.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who served as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) prior to becoming a lawmaker, also contradicted the Chief Executive’s statement, saying insatiable greed “starts with simple, petty graft” and “could be more addicting than drugs.”
Mr. Duterte said he can let Lacson’s comment pass because “he is not a lawyer,” but should be more discerning when speaking his mind on certain issues.
“I can forgive Lacson for coming out with an erroneous tongue but not Robredo, who is a lawyer. She said ‘You are giving an illegal order.’ There are other lawyers here. It’s right there in the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law. There’s a sentence there, exception that if the gifts are given in gratitude, and in nominal and tokens, that is allowed,” stated the President.
“I think he is running for President. I would caution him to be more circumspect… He is trying to be a crusader but ignorant,” he added.
Another lady spurned
The President in the same event indicated his intention to fire a female official handling an economic office because her performance was “not in parity” with other officials in his Cabinet.
“I will fire another official. Though she is not corrupt, but she is not in parity with the others in performance. Handling an economic office,” Duterte said on Tuesday during the 2019 Outstanding Government Workers Awards rites.
In a media interview after the oathtaking of newly-elected officers of the Malacañang Press Corps, Duterte said he felt that the performance of the economic official was “lacking.”
“Not enough,” Duterte said.
“She’s not as smart as others. but this particular position would need somebody who is more knowledgeable,” he added.
No name yet
Duterte did not bare her name nor give any other details.
Earlier, Duterte bared that he fired Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission executive director Jose Antonio Goitia over alleged corruption.
Duterte did not explain what corrupt activities Goitia was involved in, except for boasting about being transferred to the Bureau of Customs.
“He’s telling people that he will be appointed Customs collector. And already was collecting,” Duterte said.