Rodrigo Duterte, right, with Isidro Lapena, second from right, in 1997. Duterte recently reassigned Lapena from his role of customs chief after he allowed a drug shipment valued at 11 billion pesos (US$331 million) to slip into Manila. Photo: Reuters

If Duterte’s so proud of firing corrupt officials, why hire them?

  • Supporters of the Philippine president make a virtue of how many people he has fired from his administration, claiming it reflects a no-nonsense approach. Critics say the nonsense is that he hired them in the first place
Topic |   Rodrigo Duterte

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Rodrigo Duterte, right, with Isidro Lapena, second from right, in 1997. Duterte recently reassigned Lapena from his role of customs chief after he allowed a drug shipment valued at 11 billion pesos (US$331 million) to slip into Manila. Photo: Reuters
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Alan Robles

Alan Robles

Alan Robles has been a journalist for more than 30 years and has written for the SCMP since 2002. A freelance foreign correspondent specialising in politics, development, foreign affairs, science, environment and IT, he has a humour column at abs-cbnnews.com and runs the political satire site hotmanila.ph. He lectured for 12 years on digital media at the Internationales Institut fuer Journalismus in Berlin.