President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he would be firing Bureau of Customs officials when he goes back to Manila. Duterte said this during his speech at the inauguration of the Chen Yi Agventures Rice Processing Center in Alangalang, Leyte. “When I go back, I would be firing more from the Bureau of Customs. I’m just telegraphing. Maybe ilagay ko na sa Army yang di na ako maniwala not allowed to work, idiots. If my country is sinking, I cannot help my country?” he said. “I will go for the Customs again. There will be a lot of dismissals.
Try to stop the corruption in the higher class,” he added. Duterte was earlier criticized for saying he would let the military takeover Customs amid allegations of widespread corruption. But Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo had defended the President, saying that as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Duterte was “merely exercising his constitutionally mandated functions” when he issued the order for the military to takeover BOC. In 2018, Duterte fired commissioners and department heads of the Bureau of Customs as the agency was rocked with drug smuggling scandal.