PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday said he would issue “so many letters of dismissal” against corrupt government officials.

In his speech at the opening ceremony of the 7th Union Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Pasay City on Tuesday night, Mr. Duterte said he would issue dismissal letters against officials who linked to corruption before flying to Beijing to attend the second Built and Road Forum.

“If you ask me if I’m happy with the job, I am not, because of so many corruption and I have to fire [some officials]. I’m leaving for China, and before that I will leave so many letters of dismissal,” he said.

“Corruption is really — [it] seeps down [to] the core. You have to [do] something more than just a warning,” he said.

“I’m the only President who — ako lang ang Presidenteng nangbubugbog ng tao (beats up a person). Tanungin mo ‘yang mga guwardiya diyan (Ask the guards),” he added.

He reminded his audience, who were mostly health workers, to make sure that their services reach the poorest Filipinos.

“They are the ones who need it most. They are the ones who live in squalor, in blighted areas. No nutrition and very susceptible to bacteria and virus,” the President said.

“The health workers have to penetrate the mountains and areas where I said plight of squalor abound.”

“I’m 74 years old, I do not want to die of TB. I do not want to die of lung cancer. As a matter of fact, I got — I acquired Buerger’s disease from smoking. That is why my doctor is here. She gets my blood. Was it… Ah see? Almost every other day.”

“It’s about Buerger’s disease. But I have stopped smoking. When I became mayor in Davao City, I stopped smoking and said it cannot be done, because Filipinos, you know…. And I said, if I catch you smoking in public, you will just have to eat your cigarette. Choose. I’ll blow your balls out or you eat your cigarette.” — Arjay L. Balinbin