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Duterte hopes next Phl president to go after DPWH corruption

MJ Blancaflor

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President Rodrigo Duterte is hoping that the next Philippine leader will be “forceful” and “resolute” in eradicating corruption in the government’s infrastructure programs.

Duterte, in his speech during the inauguration of the Metro Manila Skyway Project 3, said the next chief executive should confront anomalous projects, particularly in the Department of Public Works and Highways (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,” the President said.

In his address, the President lamented that contractors and public officials take advantage of the projects which are supposed to benefit the public.

He also praised DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, who was present at the event, for his efforts to get rid of irregularities in his department.

“I’d like to congratulate Secretary Villar for initiating a total revamp in the DPWH and there will be more to come. Did I not tell you a little about a few days ago or months that I will dedicate the remaining years of my mayorship dito sa corruption?” Duterte said.

“I will really beat you up. If you don’t remember what I said, I’m sorry,” he added.

Duterte, whose campaign promise is to eradicate corruption and illegal drugs in the first six months of his presidency, recently tapped a task force led by the Department of Justice to probe irregularities in all government agencies, starting from the DPWH.
He has since cleared Villar of any wrongdoing, saying that the official does not need to pocket government funds since he is already rich.

Duterte, meanwhile, thanked San Miguel Corporation which funded the construction of all seven lanes of the Skyway Stage 3 project which links the North Luzon Expressway and South Luzon Expressway.

“To our private sector partners CITRA and San Miguel, let me thank you for your trust in this administration. Your investment has finally paid off, and the Skyway shall serve as an enduring edifice of the legacy that we will leave behind for future generations of Filipinos,” Duterte said.

“With the trust and help of the private sector and of the Filipino people, I am confident that we can build the foundations of an inclusive, robust and prosperous nation that we can proudly leave behind to our children,” he added.

Skyway 3 is an 18-kilometer elevated expressway spanning from Buendia in Makati to Balintawak in Quezon City.

It  will open to the public starting 5 a.m. on Friday and will remain toll-free until January 29.

Some 50,000 vehicles are expected to be cleared along EDSA following the project’s completion.

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