Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte offered to resign on Monday if anyone can prove that he or members of his administration received bribes while in office, adding that he would “kill” whoever makes such allegations without evidence.
“There are multiple rumors that we, me and my Cabinet members, accept payoffs. Look, I give you this guarantee. If you bring someone and say that he gave us a single peso, I will resign tomorrow,” the president said in a nationally televised address on Monday night, as quoted by Philippine news outlet ABS-CBN.
“Just one person, one affidavit. No tales. Just the truth that we accepted bribes. You just bring him … before the public and announce it. If true, I will tender my resignation as President of this republic. That is my guarantee to you. As long it’s true. Do not lie,” Duterte said.
“As far as I’m concerned, they’re all honest. But if there’s one [guilty of bribery], say it in public, and I will ask that Cabinet member to resign immediately,” he added.
The Philippine leader then warned people against making false allegations against him or his administration.
“Do not lie. Don’t invent or concoct a story, that’s bad. If that happens, I will kill you,” Duterte said, according to state-run Russian outlet RT.
President Duterte has repeatedly claimed that the Philippine national government suffers from high levels of corruption and has voiced his “frustration” with the situation, ABS-CBN noted on Monday.
Duterte at a press conference on November 10 read aloud the names of Philippine public officials he said are under investigation for various corruption offenses including bribery and graft.
“At corruption, I tell you that I am really angry, and I will not only investigate you, I will expose you to the public so that people will know that you have deceived your government,” Duterte said in Filipino during the televised public address.
The Philippine government has intensified an ongoing campaign against corruption within its ranks in recent months. Duterte on October 27 announced the formation of an anti-corruption “mega task force” to look into graft allegations within the Philippine bureaucracy.
“These investigations have gone hand-in-hand with moves by Duterte — which some have criticized as performative — such as exposing the names of allegedly corrupt officials to the public or summoning them to Malacañang [the official Philippine presidential residence] to receive a ‘dressing down’,” the Philippine Star noted last month.