Duterte says ready to appear in Congress to fight corruption

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2020 11:53 PM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, and House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Gomez Romualdez during a meeting at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on September 16, 2020. Toto Lozano, Presidential Photo/File

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he is ready to appear before Congress and discuss with lawmakers how they can "cut corruption" in government.

Duterte said in a public briefing that he doesn't know if the problem are telecom companies or officials who aren't allowing such firms to build tower networks and improve their capabilities without lengthy requirements.

"Ang karamihan walang service dito, walang service doon. [It's] a chicken or egg thing. Whether, because of the absence of the towers, they're not allowed to build... or walang kapasidad itong telcos to invest more," he said.

(Most don't have service here and there. It's a chicken or egg thing. I don't know whether because of the absence of the towers, which they're not allowed to build...or these telcos don't have the capacity to invest more.)

Duterte suggested the Congress might want to pass legislation that will address the country's telecommunications problem, adding that he's prepared to deliberate with members of the legislative branch over the issue.

Executive leaders of republics normally don't appear before Congress to deliberate with lawmakers on certain issues.

"I want Congress to know that I'm ready to appear there in Congress and discuss with them, should they allow me to talk first, then discuss how we can cut corruption. Simplify the ease of doing business," he said. 

The President threatened that he will shame a government agency and its officials by the end of the year for supposedly impeding a firm's application, that was processed for two years. He did not name the office.

"P*****ina niyo magbantay kayo, mumurahin ko talaga kayo (You m***********s, be aware, I will really curse at you). I will name you in public and put you to shame, that I'm suspecting that you're waiting for some enumeration that is not due to you, and you're not doing anything. Naghihintay ka lang ng pera (You're just waiting for money)," he said. 

Duterte said he will "try shaking the tree" on the controversial alleged anomalies in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth).

Earlier this month, he approved recommendations of a multi-agency task force to file charges against several executives of PhilHealth, including its former president Ricardo Morales.

Corrupt acts in the state-run health insurer, such as buying overpriced laptops supposed millions of pesos each, were put in the spotlight as the Philippines battled the COVID-19 pandemic.