The Daily Manila Shimbun


Duterte says official, not from executive, has extravagant travels

August 23, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte has said his office has been looking into allegedly extravagant travels abroad by a government official who does not belong to the executive branch.

In a speech on Tuesday during his dinner with the Philippine Air Force Dragon Boat Team, Duterte did not mention the name of the official, but he was apparently referring to Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno who is facing an impeachment complaint at the House of Representatives for allegedly misusing the government funds.

"There's one official here in government, whom we looked into his/her travel, not in the executive department. Whenever (the official) rode in the airplane going abroad, it's always at first class. (The official's) hotel (rooms) were suites. There's a time that it's a presidential suite," he said.

"But this will come out," Duterte added.

In an interview on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said he did not know whom Duterte was referring to.

"Let's just wait," he said, adding that the administration is not targeting anyone.

Sereno is an appointee of former President Benigno Aquino III. She is expected to retire by 2030 if she would not be impeached. Celerina Monte/DMS