In the recent dinner with his Cabinet officials Thursday, Duterte revealed “I’ll be firing about one undersecretary, one after the other. Ubusin ko talaga ‘yan (I’ll finish them off).”
Duterte made this statement the same day he accepted the resignation of former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, who was replaced by Menardo Guevarra, former Senior Deputy Executive Secretary.
He also noted that his Cabinet members were the first to get the boot as opposed to officials appointed by his predecessors, which would have been the more usual case.
“And to think, in fairness also to President [Benigno] Aquino [III] and to President [Gloria Macapagal] Arroyo…even the Cabinet member, the first to go mga tao ko (are my people),” Duterte said.
Duterte first mentioned his desire for a Cabinet revamp after expressing disappointment over the the decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to dismiss drug charges against businessman Peter Lim and self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier quoted Duterte as saying that if Lim and Espinosa get away with their crimes, Aguirre would replace them in jail.
When asked why Aguirre resigned, Roque said he did not see the resignation letter but noted that Duterte said it was “just a matter of accepting a resignation tendered to him”.
The President has mentioned several times that he would not think twice about firing officials involved in corruption. (PNA)