“I will arrest you”: Duterte warns Ombudsman officials who snub anti-corruption probe

  • President warned Ombudsman officials to cooperate with anti-corruption commission’s probe
  • He said he will apply for a warrant from the courts, have them arrested by the AFP or PNP
  • He also denied he was being dictatorial, said Ombudsman’s ranks also need cleansing

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte warned officials of the Office of the Ombudsman they will face arrest if they refuse to cooperate with the commission he’s planning on setting up to probe them for alleged corruption.

Duterte said if those officials under investigation snub the commission’s summons, then he will request for a warrant from the courts and have the military or police carry them out.

“Pag hindi ka sumipot doon sa commission na ‘yun, if I do not have the subpoena powers, then I will apply for subpoena powers from the courts,” the Philippine Star quoted him as saying. “I will order the police and the military to arrest you. ‘Yan lang ang paraan eh.”

[If you do not appear before the commission, if I do not have the subpoena powers, then I will apply for subpoena powers from the courts. I will order the police and the military to arrest you. That’s the only way.]

The president encouraged parties aggrieved by corrupt Ombudsman officials to come out and testify against them.

“Now is the time na magresbak kayo [to hit back]. And I will pin them down,” he vowed.

Duterte also denied being vindictive amid the investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman on his alleged hidden wealth,; saying the constitutional body’s ranks also need to be cleansed from corruption.

“Hindi diktador ‘yan [I’m not being a dictator]. Justice for one is justice for all. Sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose. Sabi n’yo, wala kayong corruption? Huwag ninyo akong bolahin, ako mismo biktima [You say you’re free from corruption? Don’t try to fool me, I was also a victim],” he said.

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