President Rodrigo Duterte said he was satisfied with the performance of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“I am quite happy with the performance of the Armed Forces and the police,” Duterte said during the oath-taking ng newly appointed AFP generals and flag officers and PNP star rank officers in Malacañang.
However, he admitted the presence of errant police personnel but sought the public for more time to cleanse the agency.
“Ang sa police lang (The police force), it needs to be corrected. It has always been a problem sa any administration for that matter. So give me time to move and correct,” he added.
Meanwhile, Duterte reminded military and police personnel to fight corruption within government even if he does not get to finish the end of his term in 2022.
“If I do not make it to the finish line, at the end of my term… Hingiin ko lang sa inyo ito, trillion ‘yan. Kaya ang hingiin ko sa military pati pulis (I will make a request…that’s trillions. That’s why what I’m going to ask the military and police…),” Duterte said.
“You are one of the pressure group in a democracy, the other one are the Congress… Pero huwag kayong pumayag na hindi marekober ng bayan ang ninakaw nila (But don’t allow yourselves not to recover what they have stolen),” he added.
Duterte did not identify which funds he was referring to but spoke of corruption among higher-ups which went far beyond the Bureau of Customs.
“Hindi ba sinabi ko sa inyo noon nung puliti — nagkakampanya ako, ang corruption dito sa taas (Didn’t I tell you during my presidential campaign, corruption is up there), when I was going after the Customs, sabi ko hindi dito, sa taas. Marami pa ‘yan. Pero ito nandiyan sa lahat eh (I said, not here but up there. There’s more). No need to interpret or to go into semantics,” Duterte said.
In his speech, Duterte lashed out anew on the alleged onerous water concession agreements between government and Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co.
He questioned how government and the water concessionaires would arrive at a compromise over the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Singapore for the former to pay the latter over damages.
The Singapore arbitration has ordered the government to pay Maynilad about PHP3.6 billion in damages for the company’s losses over the refusal to implement tariff adjustment for 2013 to 2017.
It also asked the government to pay PHP7.4 billion to Manila Water as compensation for losses and damages from delayed water rate increases since 2015.
Duterte, however, refused to pay the owners and threatened to sue them for “economic plunder”. (PNA)