TOUGH-talking President Rodrigo Duterte has been in office for four years and four months, leaving him just 20 months to wipe out graft and corruption in government offices and agencies.
In that time, the administration should have sufficiently organized itself to deliver on its 2016 campaign promises to stamp out wrongdoing in the bureaucracy and address the illegal drugs problem.
However, no less than President Duterte acknowledged, in a taped address aired on state television last Tuesday, that official corruption is not waning but becoming stronger in the country.
“It’s as if officials of the country are becoming inutile and cannot do anything with onslaught of corruption,” said the Chief Executive, the first Mindanaoan to hold the top political post of the land.
And President Duterte was quick to declare that he can still minimize corruption, even if he cannot completely eradicate it.
It will be recalled that a World Bank (WB) study commissioned by then President Estrada said that “corruption in the public and private sector in the Philippines “is pervasive and deep-rooted.”
The same WB study revealed that a big portion of the country’s annual budget “is lost to graft and corruption.”
That’s why we doff our hat to President Duterte for ordering the Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch a sweeping investigation into graft and corruption across all government offices and agencies.
Duterte, who is set to leave Malacanang at 12 noon on June 30, 2022, was quoted as saying that “I have made a pledge…that I will concentrate the last remaining years of my term fighting corruption.”
In the view of many, this demonstrates to all, including the ordinary citizens, that President Duterte is really determined to hit hard at all those crooks out to undermine his administration.