Home News Cagayan Valley Cagayan Duterte reaffirms stand vs corruption, vows to ‘restore nation’s dignity’

Duterte reaffirms stand vs corruption, vows to ‘restore nation’s dignity’

SANTA ANA, Philippines- President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, March 14, said the condemnation of smuggled vehicles in Port Irene here demonstrates their firm stand against corruption and illegal acts in the country.

“We reaffirm our commitment to build a country free from the shackles of corruption. This condemnation of smuggled vehicles demonstrates our firm stand to put an end to a long-standing societal disease that has eroded public trust and tainted the government’s sincerity to deliver equitable social services.” Duterte said.

The President also said the destruction of 14 contraband luxury vehicles signifies the government’s “strong resolve to restore good governance, preserve our nation’s dignity and safeguard our people’s welfare.”

“I reiterate that I will never tolerate smuggling and all forms of irregularities in all ports, especially in freeports. Illegal practices will be dealt with and ensure that every department agency and instrumentality of government is free from corruption,” the outspoken leader said.

“We will continue to persevere and bring in transformative change so we can build a foundation of our nation’s unceasing sustainable growth,” he added.

Duterte flew here Wednesday afternoon to witness the destruction of 14 smuggled luxury cars worth a reported P27 million. Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) said all 855 contraband cars which have been kept in Port Irene will be destroyed.

CEZA administrator lawyer Raul Lambino earlier said the public destruction aims to send a “strong message” of the government’s efforts to crack down smuggling.

(READ: Duterte to witness wrecking of imported luxury cars in Cagayan)

Lambino also announced on Wednesday that the importer of the cars withdrew their appeal before CEZA and that the board of directors will decide on this on Friday, March 16. Eight big motorcycles are likewise to be destroyed.

“Medyo nahuli po yung desisyon dito sa 800 plus [natirang] vehicles kasi nag apela po yung importer at kailangan po namin iduscuss yon, pero nung isang gabi po nakatanggap po kami ng kanilang notice of withdrawal of appeal kaya po sa Biyernes dedesisyunan na po ng board of directors ng CEZA yung appeal po nila at ipagpapatuloy po namin yung pagsira sa mga susunod na araw,” Lambino said.

The President meanwhile recognized CEZA for its contribution in addressing the issue of the smuggled vehicles.

He also said Lal-lo airport, which he inspected before his visit in this town, “has established itself as an important gateway to Cagayan Valley and the rest of Northern Luzon.”

“Your commitment to spur industrial and economic social development has promoted efficiency and good governance not only in Luzon but in the entire region,” Duterte told CEZA.

“We will continue working with partners in various sectors of society to ensure a faster and easier means of public transport. Our advancement in these areas not only spurs equitable development in the region but also ushers a new era of progress for the entire nation,” the President added.

Meanwhile, Duterte also called for the support of local government officials, civic leaders, and the public to stand with him in “forging a drug, crime, and corruption-free Philippines.”

“This [implies] a lot of work to be done until we can give our people a stronger and more progressive nation they deserve. Together, let us fight for a better government and for a better Philippines that will last generations. This will be our most important legacy as public servants and as the Filipinos,” he said in front of local officials including Governor Manuel Mamba, Vice Governor Melvin Boy Vargas, and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members. Northernforum.net

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