President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the mass oath taking in Malacañang on Monday of newly appointed officials, asking their help to stamp out corruption in government, one of his campaign pledges during the 2016 election.
In his speech during the mass oath-taking rites, President Duterte told the newly appointed officials that part of their responsibilities is upholding integrity, accountability, and transparency in the institutions that they will serve.
“Our people have long suffered from the scourge of corruption and red tape in the bureaucracy. As you assume your respective offices, I expect you to help me in the task of regaining our people’s trust in government by pursuing necessary bureaucratic reforms that will enable us to address the needs of those we serve,” he said.
“Know that you will always have my complete support as long as you resist any temptation that will taint your character and reputation as public servants.”
The President promised to reduce corruption in government to the barest minimum during his term as president.
At the same time, he encouraged the newly appointed officials to keep their dignity intact, stressing that he personally guarantees that any form of corruption will be dealt with promptly and severely.
The President then rallied for their support so that the administration can finally end the ills that have degraded the level of governance in the country.
“Help me institute the necessary reforms so that our government may effectively stamp out criminality, illegal drugs, terrorism, and other ills that have prevented us from improving the lives of our people,” he noted.
“Let us carry out our shared duty of building a stronger and more progressive Philippines that we can all leave behind for future generations of Filipinos.”
Separately, the President also administered Monday the oath of Wendel Avisado, the acting secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and William Dar, the acting secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
President Duterte also mentioned in his speech the challenges that his government has been facing, including the roadblocks in the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
The administration also has to deal with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) led by Nur Misuari, hoping that the Muslim leader with strong influence in Sulu, Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi accepts the same terms conceded by the government to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The proliferation of illegal drugs, another menace that the President has vowed to confront, is also a major concern for the government.
But he said he worries more about the influence of ISIS in Mindanao after the extremist group caused so much destruction in Iraq, Syria, and other parts of the Middle East.
“Talagang ako’y nagdarasal. I’m praying…I really pray. Talagang lumuluhod ako sa Diyos na to spare us the kind of brutality and cruelty in our country because it will really be bloody…bloody as it can ever be,” the President said.
Also present Monday were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Presidential Legal Counsel and Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.