Transportation Assistant Secretary for Railways Mark Tolentino (photo from his Facebook page)
MANILA, Philippines – Transportation Assistant Secretary for Railways Mark Tolentino was the latest to receive President Rodrigo Duterte’s “corruption ax.”
The President dismissed Tolentino for allegedly consulting his sister particularly in matters relating to the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP.)
Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque in a press briefing Monday, May 19, reiterated the President’s stern warning not to get his family members involved in any government transactions.
“Wag niyo pong kakausapin ang sinuman sa mga kamag-anak niya, na mayroon pong kahit anong gustong kontrata or appointment sa gobyerno. Pag kinausap ninyo po ang kahit sinong kamag-anak ng president, basehan na po yan para kayo sibakin,” Roque said.
(Do not discuss contracts or government posts with any of the President’s family members. If you talk to any of his relatives for such purposes, it can be used as a ground for your relief.)
In his statements during the weekend, the Chief Executive hinted at firing more public officials with links to corruption including the government corporate counsel and some gaming officials.
Meanwhile, The Department of Transportation (DOTr) in a statement Monday said the agency welcomed the President’s decision to fire Tolentino while it assured the public that the MRP was “on track and on schedule.”
Roque said he will announce on Tuesday, May 22, the name of another official whom the President asked to resign. — Rosalie Coz