President Duterte stressed in a recent speech that he as no intention in meddling in the projects and funding of government agencies. The chief executive clarified that no government contracts or transactions involving public funds reach his desk in Malacañang.
Instead, Duterte leaves it up to public officials to decide on the appropriate use of public funding. Speaking at the National Capital Region (NCR) Barangay Summit on Peace and Order on Tuesday, Duterte stressed that officials heading their respective government agencies should exercise their ability to decide on a project’s worthiness of funding.
“Kung ano iyong proyekto ng DILG [Department of Interior and Local Government] kay[DILG Secretary Eduardo] Año ‘yan. Wala akong pakialam. Kung may project angNational Security Adviser, kanya ‘yan. (Whatever project DILG has, it’s with Secretary Año. I do not intervene. If the National Security Adviser has a project, that’s his.) It begins and ends there. Wala kang makitang pirma (You won’t see my signature) because I do not allow it,” he said.
The President added that accountability is expected from the same officials for any irregularities in the projects they handle or approve.
“So pagdating diyan (when it comes to projects), discretion mo na (it’s the officials’ discretion to say) yes or no. Balik ko ‘yan sa kanila (I’ll return to them and say), “You decide and if something goes wrong, then you have to answer,” added Duterte.
President Duterte further asserted his stance against corruption in the government. In the same speech, he added that for corruption allegations he deals with his political allies in the same way he deals with those from opposing parties.
“Usually political ganun, maski sabihin mo kakampi ko PDP (even if a person is my ally in PDP-Laban) … I would always tell you be fair. I will not be a party to any injustice. Never,” said Duterte.
Clearing corruption out of the Philippine government has been one of the main thrusts of the Duterte Administration. Duterte in 2017 issued Executive Order No. 43 to create a Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.
EO No. 43’s test reads that the Office of the President needed a separate commission to look into corruption that is “solely dedicated to providing assistance to the President in the investigation and hearing of administrative cases and complaints, and in the conduct of lifestyle checks and/or fact-finding inquiries concerning presidential appointees and other public officers allegedly involved in graft and corrupt practices.”