DAVAO CITY, July 15 -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday urged his fellow government officials to shun graft and corruption, stop using sirens, and limit the number of their bodyguards.
"I told them --- walang maggamit ng siren at (do not use sirens and) I do not like you to strut around with many bodyguards," Duterte said in his speech as he attended the 11th Ambassadors' Tour Philippine Reception at the SMX Convention Center here.
"Huwag kayong mag-siren (Don’t use sirens), we are not a special breed. We are just workers of government, we are paid to work. We are not paid to strut around."
He noted that like his father, who was a former governor of Davao, he is just a simple government official.
Duterte also said he will limit bodyguards assigned to government officials to just one or two, adding that he used to ride his motorcycle without any bodyguard when he was mayor of Davao City.
"Tatay ko governor for 10 years dito (My father was governor here for 10 years), when this was only one Davao. We were not even allowed to ride on his car, maski naka-parking (even when it was parked)," he recalled.
Meanwhile, Duterte recognized the assistance of China and the United States in the government's fight against the Maute terrorist group in Marawi City.
"The United States helped the Armed Forces in this fight, and China committed and delivered a lot of firearms for us -- ‘yung mga sniper (rifles)," he said.
However, he clarified that the Philippines cannot enter into military alliances with other nations because he would be "violating" the US-Philippines pact.
Thanking the participants of the 11th Ambassadors' Tour for taking time to visit Davao City, Duterte cited their “contribution to the advancement of Filipino-American communities".
"This serves as a special homecoming program for you so that you can share with your colleagues your success as our country’s most respectable representative in the United States," he said, adding that as Filipinos based in the US, they can contribute to the country by promoting the Philippines as an "ideal location for business to thrive, and as a great destination for tourists to experience". (PND)