President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly stated hat he hates corruption.
Words got around that when he was still the Mayor of Davao City, President Duterte “was known to have physically dealt with corrupt policemen and highway patrol personnel” to the extent he personally conducted night patrols himself to check on their activities.
No wonder, when rice traders from the Cagayan Valley Region met President Duterte in Malacañang recently and complained about the extortion activities of LTO and DPWH personnel, the president lost his cool, angrily barking at Sec. Tugade, who was at the hospital having a medical checkup, via phone to bring them to Malacanang.
The President, according to Pinol, barked the marching order to Tugade in Cebuano dialect.
“Dalhin mo sila sa akin sa Malacañang kay kumoton nako ilang mga nawong,” he said in a mix of Tagalog and Bisaya dialects. (Bring them to me in Malacañang and I will squeeze their faces.)
The President also instructed Sec. Bong Go to relieve the personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) manning the truck weighing station and the LTO team from their post without delay.
According to Pinol’s post, the syndicate earns as much as P30M a month from their racket.
If you do the math, 1000 trucks pass through the Aritao weighing station each paying P500 to P1,000 per truck everyday.
Traders alleged this racket has been going on for the last 10 years, even on holidays.
“Ang sipag-sipag po nila Mr. President. Maski holidays at maski noong Holy Week, naka-duty sila at wala kaming ligtas,” the rice traders complained.
So why did the traders pay up?
Simple. To avoid delay and inconvenience.
Can we expect a public humiliation of the alleged extortionists from LTO and DPWH?
As far as Pinol is concerned, it’s not happening since President Duterte did not a say word whether the local media are invited to witness the “squeezing of faces” spectacle in Malacanang.