Duterte: ‘I did not say I will kill plunderers’

This was the response of President Rodrigo Duterte when asked why Congress removed plunder and rape from the list of crimes punishable by death even as he vowed to fire more officials accused of corruption. "I really would like to know the rationale of the Congress why is it that rape and plunder was taken out," Duterte said.



Speaking before reporters in an impromptu press conference Friday, March 3, Duturte said he will fire more government appointees in the coming days due to supposed corruption issues. "Marami yan sila (They are many). I'm still trying to figure out how it will be done,"Duterte said. "Ito warning ko, maski director o CESO o service eligible kayo huminto kayo at least for 6 years habang andito ako sa opisina ko (This is my warning, even directors or CESO or civil service eligible, you should stop even just for 6 years while I am in this office) ,"Duterte added. Duterte had earlier revealed that he had fired former National Irrigation Administration (NIA) administrator Peter Laviña for alleged wrongdoing.



Laviña handed in his resignation letter last week amid accusations that he was asking money from NIA contractors, an allegation that he vehemently denied. In interviews, he said he resigned from his post to save the Duterte government from embarrassment. Duterte was at the 4th Infantry Division headquarters in Camp Edilberto Evangelista, Patag, Cagayan de Oro City to visit the wake of the two soldiers killed in recent clashes with the New Peoples Army (NPA) in Misamis Oriental. Duterte's visit was initially scheduled at 4:30pm but was moved for almost two hours. The President arrived at about 6:10 pm and he left the camp at about 7:45 pm after talking to the wounded soldiers recuperating in the Army hospital inside the camp. Duterte gave the families of the two slain soldiers cash assistance worth P250,000. The President also gave P100,000 thousand to the seven soldiers wounded in clashes with the NPA.
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