Bong Go statement on sacked officials needs context

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University of the Philippines Journalism Department
Last modified
Friday, April 26, 2019 - 16:10
Screenshot of Bong Go statement



‘Marami nang nasuspinde na opisyal na nangongotong. Sa tulong ng lahat ng Pilipino, tuloy-tuloy po yan (Many officials have been suspended for extortion. With the help of all Filipinos, the cleanup will continue),’ Go said. He noted that President Duterte had sacked many officials, even those who helped him during the 2016 presidential campaign, because of corruption.

—  Official Bong Go website, April 14, 2019

Senate hopeful Bong Go’s statement that President Rodrigo Duterte has sacked many government officials for corruption needs context.

While Duterte has indeed dismissed or suspended officials in his anticorruption campaign, he later rehired and gave a number of them other government posts.

In December 2017, the president fired five Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor officials for alleged extravagant trips abroad and not meeting as a collegial body regularly. Three were later reappointed.

Melissa Avanceña Aradanas, cousin of Duterte's partner Honeylet Avanceña, was rehired as deputy secretary general of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council in March 2018.

Joan Lagunda was appointed assistant secretary at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in April 2018.

Manuel Serra Jr. was named to the Philippine Coconut Authority governing board in June 2018.

Duterte also returned to government service several officials forced to quit after they were implicated in anomalous transactions.

Nicanor Faeldon resigned as customs commissioner in August 2017 after he was linked to the smuggling of 600 kilograms of shabu worth 6.4 billion from China. The president appointed him deputy administrator of the Office of Civil Defense in December 2017. In May the following year, the Ombudsman recommended the filing of criminal charges against him.

In February 2018, then former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced the president was not keeping Jose Gabriel Laviña as Social Security System commissioner following allegations of corruption. Laviña was appointed tourism undersecretary in April 2018.

Duterte in his 2017 State of the Nation Address said he would not hesitate to fire any official with just “a whiff of corruption.”

The reappointments contradicted Duterte’s June 2018 pronouncement during the anniversary celebration of the Government Service Insurance System:

Pag nagkamali ka (If you make a mistake), I won't give you a second chance. No f*****g second chance because I do not own this government.


Bong Go says service to people is service to God; urges ordinary Filipinos to join fight against corruption. (2019, April 14). Retrieved from

Buan, L. (2018, Febuary 17). Sacked SSS exec 'demanded' P26-M budget for social media project. Rappler. Retrieved from

Duterte, R. R. (2017, July 25). Speech presented at State of the Nation Address in Quezon City. Retrieved from

Duterte, R. R. (2018, June 19). Speech presented at 81st Anniversary of Government Service Insurance System in Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Retrieved from

Ex-SSS exec La Viña calls Roque allegations ‘rehashed propaganda.’ GMA News Online. (2018, February 17). Retrieved from

From the Presidential Spokesperson – On the appointment of Nicanor Faeldon. (2018, May 2). Retrieved from

Geducos, A. (2018, February 18). Palace: La Viña’s SSS stint ended due to corruption. Manila Bulletin. Retrieved from

"Kita kita" (sa Customs). (2017, August 23). Retrieved from

Ombudsman completes fact-finding investigation on Faeldon, et al. on P6.4B shabu smuggling case. (2018, May 2). Retrieved from

Palace: Duterte to fire officials of PCUP; reiterates govt’s strong drive vs. corruption, (2017, December 12). Retrieved from

President Duterte appoints Melissa Aradanas, Honeylet Avanceña’s cousin, as deputy secretary general of Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council. (2018, March 9). Retrieved from

Press briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. (2018, April 26). Retrieved from

Press briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. (2018, February 12). Retrieved from

Ranada, P. (2018). List: No to corruption? Duterte's controversial reappointees. Rappler .[news article]. Retrieved from

The President of the Philippines. (2018, June 6). Manuel L. Serra Jr. appointment to the Philippine Coconut Authority.

The President of the Philippines. (2018, March 7). Melissa Avancena Aradanas appointment to the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.



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