DAVAO CITY, Jan. 15 (PNA) -- President Rodrigo Duterte said Filipinos can stop graft and corruption in government by being patriotic and that it is time to fight abuses in government.
In a speech during the 49th Annual Installation of the Board of Trustees and Officer of the the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. on Saturday, the President reiterated his pledge of zero corruption in government under his watch.
"Dito sa graft and corruption, alam mo kayo lang ang makahinto niyan, hindi ako. Kayo lang talaga. The Filipino guy must be assertive," the President told Davao City businessmen during the event in Marco Polo Hotel.
"Do not be afraid of government employees even the military and the pulis if you are right. That is what I guarantee you now," he added noting that if Filipinos want to help the government they have six years to do it.
The public, he said, must be assertive in dealing with government agencies whether in applying for land certificates or clearing packages at the Bureau of Customs.
Only the people can effectively combat graft and corruption because as president, he said, he cannot micromanage everything.
"Anyway I think that we should have a respite from corruption. Ngayon, if you want your country really to grow, ayaw ko ng away," he said.
The President also mentioned his war on drugs, adding that after meeting the country's mayors last week, he is arranging to meet the governors next week to warn them about getting involved in the drug trade. He vowed to eliminate illegal drugs in the country under his term.
Telling criminals and drug dealers how the ongoing deadly crackdown will stop, the President said: "Drop your guns if you are a terrorist; drop the shabu tonight and tomorrow it will be heaven."
The President also reported about recent Mindanao bombings involving the Maute group, saying all suspects have been accounted for. One of the suspects, he announced is the son of a Cotabato mayor, who is now detained in Malaysia.
There is good working relations with Malaysia and Indonesia in tackling cross border security and terrorism, he said.
He also said he gave the approval to other countries' navies to enter Philippine waters during pursuit operations.
President Duterte also discussed the ongoing peace process particularly with the communist rebels and Muslim separatists.
At the same time, he told Davao City businessmen that he has brilliant people in his cabinet helping him move the country forward. While he ensures peace and security, the cabinet members work on improving the economy and uplifting the lives of the people, he said. (PNA) BNB/PND/SSC