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Duterte fires housing official over corruption allegations

President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Secretary-General Falconi Millar over corruption allegations, Malacañang said Thursday.

“The President’s order takes effect immediately,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Duterte said he signed the dismissal order Thursday before he left Malacanang for the inauguration of the Cavite Gateway Terminal in Tanza, Cavite.

"Binabasa ko ‘yung resume kanina, tinitingnan ko ‘yung termination and knew what a deep shit the guy has created for... Valedictorian, he’s a low-class and everything. But I don’t know," he said.

"When you are there, secretary general, you have the power. You have the authority. You can do corruption. It can give you a little, it corrupts you absolutely," he added, as he maintained that he's having a "hard time" combating corruption.

"Please do not make it really very hard for me to do it," Duterte said.

In a statement, Millar denied the allegations. 

"It is an obvious demolition job. In protecting the interest of the government, I have annoyed some personalities. I filed my resignation this [Thursday] morning," he said.

Panelo did not give details on the allegations against Millar, who is also the head of the secretariat of the inter-agency Task Force Bangon Marawi which is overseeing the rehabilitation of the war-torn city.

“We assure the public that the delivery of public services shall unimpededly continue, especially in rehabilitating Marawi City and other affected areas,” Panelo said.

The Palace official insisted that “there are no sacred cows in the administration, especially in its drive against corruption.”

“As the President said, he will not tolerate even a whiff of corruption in the Executive branch of government,” Panelo said.

Duterte last week said he will fire another official for corruption.

The President has been bringing down the axe on high-ranking officials and heads of offices accused of corruption, excessive travels and abuse of power.

This year, the President ordered the dismissal of military officials over supposed anomalous transactions at the V. Luna Medical Center.

He also fired the board members and the management of Nayong Pilipino Foundation for entering into a supposedly disadvantageous lease deal with a Hong Kong-based developer for an integrated casino resort project.

Duterte had vowed to reduce corruption to the barest minimum under his watch. —LDF, GMA News