Duterte to lawyers: Be loyal to oath of office, country

President Rodrigo Duterte called on the country’s legal practitioners to remain faithful to their oath of office and their countrymen as he graced the Integrated Bar of the Philippines’ (IBP) 16th National Convention of Lawyers on Thursday, March 23.

In his speech before the members of IBP at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City, Duterte said while lawyers confront many challenges, they must bear in mind that the country and people’s interest are paramount.

“As we begin this year’s national convention, I ask the IBP to join me in reminding our fellow lawyers that we are indeed free to choose our battles, our loyalty must nonetheless remain with our oath of office and our country,” he said.

The Chief Executive shared with the top legal professionals the strides made in combating graft and corruption, saying that he has asked erring officials in government agencies such as Land Transportation Office and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to vacate their posts.

“Iyon lang ang hinihingi ko sa Pilipino. Join me to stop corruption. I will do it, my God, I will do it even if I have to fire everybody. Pero kailangan ko ang tulong ng Pilipino,” he said.

He urged Filipinos to be assertive of their rights in order to stop corruption.

He likewise said he wants red tape eliminated in government transactions and public officials should process permits and applications within a reasonable period.

The President vowed to continuously fight illegal drugs throughout his term, branding it a menace that destroys the country.

Duterte also mentioned China and its shored-up relations with the country and its intention to build bridges in the Philippines.

Peace talks with the Muslim separatists and leftists are also ongoing, the President said.###PND