Duterte: I'll close Congress if lawmakers remain corrupt

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(File photo) Davao City Mayor Rodrigo "Rody" Duterte

Laguna (CNN Philippines) — Apart from suppressing crime, presidential candidate Rodrigo "Rody" Duterte also vowed to get rid of corruption in the government if elected on May 9.

“It will be a clean government. Walang corruption,” Duterte said in a campaign rally in Laguna on Friday (April 15).

[Translation: It will be a clean government. No corruption.]

It may be easier said than done — but Duterte insisted he will simply not allow corruption to persist. He added that people will feel the change the moment he steps foot in Malacañang.

Related: Duterte: Corruption could worsen under a Binay regime

The PDP-Laban standard bearer even warned of literally closing the doors of Congress if lawmakers continue engaging in corrupt practices.

“I will not allow it. Kasi ako ang nag-utos. 'Wag ninyo akong pahirapan because I am trying to rebuild the country,” Duterte said.

[Translation: I will not allow it. It is my order. Do not give me a hard time because I am trying to rebuild the country.]

He said he will also close the Office of the Ombudsman if hearings on cases against erring officials are delayed.

But Duterte stressed he will not declare Martial Law.

Bakit ako mag-Martial Law? Simple: sarahan ko lang 'yung gate ng Congress. I-lock ko lang. Wala na kayong (lawmakers) opisina,” the tough-talking Davao City mayor said.  

[Translation:  Why would I implement Martial Law? Simple: I will just close the gate of the Congress. I'll just lock it. No more office for you (lawmakers).]

Duterte to Poe: ‘Hang me’ if crime does not end in 6 months

Duterte on Friday (April 15) also welcomed independent candidate Sen. Grace Poe’s offer to appoint him as "anti-crime czar."

Also read: Poe camp on Duterte's rise in surveys: No need to hit panic button

“I’d be glad to. It would he an honor to serve under Poe,” Duterte said.

He earlier said he is open to appointing Poe in his cabinet as either Tourism or Social Welfare secretary, to which Poe responded she will appoint Duterte as her anti-crime czar if she wins the election.

Duterte said if he doesn’t suppress crime in three to six months, Poe can “hang him if she wants.”

Related: How Duterte-Cayetano will suppress crime in 3-6 months

Duterte also said he is willing to appoint the “beautiful” Leni Robredo as “assistant president” – a position he said he can create if he is elected president.

Rebel groups, nation building

Meanwhile, Duterte defended his friendliness to the New People's Army (NPA).

He said the nation cannot be built without talking to the enemies, including rebel groups like the NPA.

"I am friendly to them because I know that I will have to talk to them about nation building," said Duterte.

"I have to talk to them. I have to see what i can do for my country to arrive at a peaceful resolution.”

Presidential candidate Manuel "Mar" Roxas II earlier criticized Duterte, whom he says “helps” the NPA.

Related: Mar says Duterte gives empty promises

The administration bet said a president, as commander in chief, should not be coddling the NPA which he stresses are state enemies who kill policemen and soldiers.

Noong isang araw, sabi niya (Duterte) na dapat bayaran 'yung mga revolutionary tax ng mga negosyante. Tapos sinabi rin niya na 'yang mga permit to campaign ay dapat bayaran din ng mga politiko,” said Roxas.

[Translation: The other day, he (Duterte) said businessmen should pay for their revolutionary taxes. He also said that politicians should pay for their permits to campaign.]

Ang trabaho ng pangulo ay para ipatupad ang batas sa ating bansa — hindi para sang-ayunan itong mga bagay na ito na ilegal at labag sa lahat ng mga prinsipyo ng ating bansa,” Roxas added.

[Translation: The president should implement the country's laws - not to tolerate illegal matters and principles which our contrary to the nation.]

Duterte’s running mate Alan Cayetano questioned why Roxas is suddenly going after the NPA, when the administration he works for has previously said that its peace efforts in Mindanao include reaching out to the rebel group.

Also read: Duterte tells Roxas: You can't be president if you can't kill or aren't ready to die

"Ang Liberal [Party] po ang nagsabing kasama sa programa nila ang pag-uusap sa NPA. Bakit 'pag mas gusto ng NPA kausap si Mayor Duterte, bigla sila (NPA) ngayon ‘ay kalaban at hindi dapat kausapin?'"Cayetano said.

[Translation: The Liberal Party said that their programs involve talks with the NPA. Why is it that - now that the NPA would rather talk to Mayor Duterte - the NPA are considered 'enemies and should not be talked to?'"]