MANILA: President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday told Filipinos that they can “shoot but not kill” public officials who demand money in exchange for their services.
Duterte urged the public to be assertive when doing business with government agencies.
“The only thing that I am asking the Filipino people is really to be assertive, period ... If you pay taxes, fees, clearances or whatever, and these fools ask for a bribe, slap them. If you have a gun, you can shoot them, but don’t kill because you might not be included among those given pardon or computation,” Duterte, a former prosecutor, said in his speech during the inauguration of the Bataan government center and business hub dubbed “The Bunker.”
“Just the foot, then it will only be serious physical injuries ... You admit it, then you go to probation. You do not go inside the prison ... You’ll just report to a probation officer,” Duterte said. “At least you got to shoot a foolish thief.”
The president vowed to defend any person who shoots a corrupt official.
“I will defend you. If the incident reaches my office, I will call for the complainant and tell him to slap (the official) three times ... I’ll ask how much did he demand from you, sir? Five thousand? Then slap that son of a b**** two more times,” Duterte said.
The former mayor of Davao City lamented that if corruption was not stopped it would become “a worm inside, in almost everybody in government — national and local.”
The president said that he would issue an executive order to ease the process of doing business with government offices.
“I will issue the executive order so that customers or clients of government ... you ask them what they want, they should be provided with a shopping list that they should submit. And then they are given a day to submit the papers and it should include everything.”
“There will be no changes, no modification and no reason or excuse to call back the transacting public to produce another document. It is in the art of making them go back and forth to the office that perpetuates corruption in government,” said Duterte, as he emphasized that “the delays” in the processing of documents are “the things that make up the ugly face of government.”
Meanwhile, with the inauguration of “The Bunker,” Bataan province becomes the first local government unit in the country to house provincial and national offices in a single location.
“I hope that this Bunker that we are inaugurating today will serve its purpose in helping the people of Bataan face the rapidly evolving modern complexities and challenges of everyday life,” Duterte said.
As the province had huge potential for further development, the president said that he had signed a measure expanding the territory of the Freeport Area of Bataan to create more investment and tourism opportunities.
Duterte expressed optimism that Bataan would continue to partner with other stakeholders to maximize the opportunities afforded by the new government and business center, including the delivery of quality and responsive government services in line with the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018.
Aside from being the central headquarters of Bataan, The Bunker also pays homage to the defenders of the province during the Second World War. Replicas of a Second World War tank and fighter planes will be displayed there to highlight Bataan’s wartime past.