Duterte clarifies warning vs judges selling TROs
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 4, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday clarified his comments on judges “selling” temporary restraining orders (TROs), saying he just wants to end the corrupt practice that hampers the implementation of projects. 

On Tuesday, Duterte said the practice of issuing TROs should stop, claiming that it only puts money in the pockets of judges while delaying government projects. 

“It simply means money for judges. We have to stop it. When I certify (a project) as president, when everything is OK, if I give the go-signal, there is no corruption. No money changed hands there,” Duterte said.

“If you don’t believe me, I don’t care. The people chose me,” he added. 

Duterte, the first president from Mindanao, won by a landslide with more than 16.6 million votes, a phenomenon he attributed to the people’s desire for change. 

However, Duterte’s comment has raised concerns from various quarters. Some critics worried that this could pave the way for the executive to intrude into the affairs of the judiciary.

Duterte, however, clarified that he is just warning those who are earning money out of issuing TROs.

“I said do not go into this mess of being paid and issuing TRO. It’s business, actually. I’m looking at the other side of the coin, the wrong side,” the incoming president said.   

“I cannot go after (those who follow) the righteous path,” he added. 

Duterte said there are instances when losing bidders use TROs to halt the implementation of projects. He stressed that the “nefarious” activity of delaying projects by the losing bidders should stop. 

“Many projects in this country have been delayed by the enormous challenge of the TRO,” he said. 

“The name of the game is pressure. Actually, if they lose, they would want to divide the spoils.”

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