Corruption won’t stop but gov’t fighting it

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MANILA – While admitting that curbing corruption in government is a difficult task, President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night vowed to continue fighting it until the end of his term.

“We are not proclaiming that we have gotten rid of corruption. There is still corruption in this government and any other government that will come after me and in the past,” Duterte said in a pre-recorded public address.

He said there will always be corruption “as long as there is a running bureaucracy and there is money involved and there are a lot of tables where the papers will go through.”

Duterte said the only way for corruption to be eliminated is to close down the government.

“The most that we can do is to fight it,” he said.

Duterte then went on to read aloud a list of government officials who have been dismissed from service for irregularities.

In October 2020, Duterte ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate allegations of corruption “in the entire government”.

Duterte directed the DOJ to have a special focus on the corrupt-ridden Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Last month, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to strengthen the government’s fight against corruption and bureaucracy.

The MOA signed by ARTA Director-General Jeremiah Belgica and PACC chairman Greco Belgica aims to align and integrate their functions in handling complaints and reports of violations.

PACC’s Belgica said their partnership with ARTA will include sharing critical information and conduct of joint investigations.

He said the signing of MOA will fast-track and strengthen fact-finding investigations.

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