Duterte orders Assistant Secretaries from DOJ, DPWH to resign – Roque

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 15) — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered two assistant secretaries from the Departments of Justice and Public Works to resign over corruption allegations, his spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Harry Roque said DOJ Assistant Secretary Moslemen Macarambon Sr and DPWH Assistant Secretary Tingagun A. Umpa were asked to submit their resignation letters or face the chopping block.

"The President has advised two assistant secretaries to tender their resignations or face termination for corruption," he told a media briefing.

An investigation conducted by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission against Macarambon allegedly found he has been in cahoots with suspected smugglers of gold and jewelry and "regularly intervening" in smuggling cases at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Roque said.

"Siya ang sumusundo sa smugglers (sa NAIA) para hindi dumaan sa Immigration," Roque told CNN Philippines after the briefing.

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed Macarambon has filed his resignation following Duterte's order.

"It's a reiteration of the president's policy. Mere whiff of corruption affects trust and confidence. He had tendered his resignation before Apr 30," he said in a text message.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Spokesperson said Umpa was investigated by the DPWH. Its findings allegedly show that the assistant secretary has been asking for percentages from contractors in the ARMM area.

"Napatunayan po na nangungumisyon," Roque said.

Macarambon formerly served as Commission on Elections commissioner and a former regional trial court judge in Iligan City.

Umpa was appointed by Duterte in January as Asec for Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Operations and Special Mindanao Projects. He is also an alternate representative for Task Force Bangon Marawi's "Bangon Marawi Selection Committee."

Roque said the investigation findings against the two Duterte appointees have already been turned over to the Ombudsman.

One of Duterte's campaign promises was to eradicate corruption in government, and he has said he would fire officials at the "first whiff of corruption."