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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte changes tune again on ending corruption in gov’t before term ends

In his Oct. 26 public address, President Rodrigo Duterte promised to dedicate the remaining one and a half years of his term to “fighting corruption” in government.

Yet in a speech in late September, the chief executive was ready to throw in the towel.

Watch this video:

The president has see-sawed on his anti-corruption drive since the beginning of his term in 2016. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: In his own words: Duterte’s anti-corruption drive; VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Can Duterte stamp out corruption?)

Duterte’s Sept. 28 remark, in which he said he had “offered to resign as president,” was also not the first time he floated the idea to the public.

Last April, he said he was willing to step down should the military say he was no longer effective in handling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic:

Sabi ko eh kung totoo ‘yang pinapahirapan ko ‘yung Pilipino, eh anytime po sabihin ni [P]amatong bababa na ako at sinabi ng military, ‘Sige, totoo ‘yan. Subukan niya itong three weeks.’ Okay.

(I said, if it’s true that I’m making it hard for Filipinos, I would resign anytime Pamatong says so and the military [agrees and] says, ‘Yes, that’s true. He (Pamatong) should try his [supposed] three-week [solution].)”

Source: Presidential Communications Operations Office, Talk to the Nation of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), April 6, 2020, watch from 46:53 to 47:40




Duterte was referring to lawyer Elly Pamatong — declared a nuisance candidate in the 2004, 2010, and 2016 presidential elections but continues to proclaim himself “president” of the Philippines — who supposedly has a “fail-safe plan” to solve the COVID-19 crisis.

Prior to his April 6 speech, Duterte has announced plans or vowed to resign at least 22 times. (See VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Duterte’s thoughts of resignation)


Sources

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Talk to the People of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Oct. 27, 2020

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Talk to the People of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Sept. 28, 2020

GMA News, If elected, Duterte wants to end crime, corruption in three to six months, Feb. 2, 2016

Inquirer.net, Duterte: Kill me if I fail to bust crime, corruption in 6 months, Jan. 17, 2016

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Mass Oath taking of Newly Appointed Officials and League of Municipalities of the Philippines, Oct. 11, 2016

RTVMalacanang, Mass Oath Taking of Newly Appointed Officials and LMP 10/11/2016, Oct. 11, 2016

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Talk to the Nation of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), April 6, 2020

Pamatong poll disqualifications


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)