World

Duterte sacks his Interior Minister

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has fired his Interior Minister, his spokesman said yesterday, as infighting and corruption allegations rock his government.

Mr Ismael Sueno, who supervised Mr Duterte's war on drugs that has left thousands dead, was fired on the spot at a Cabinet meeting late on Monday, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

"The summary dismissal served as a warning that Mr Duterte would not countenance any questionable or legally untenable decisions by any member of the Cabinet," Mr Abella added.

He did not say what these decisions were, but added the sacking formed part of Mr Duterte's "drive for a trustworthy government by addressing issues like corruption".

DENIAL

In a statement issued Monday, hours before his sacking, Mr Sueno, 69, vigorously denied any involvement in corruption, blaming other followers of Mr Duterte for circulating such allegations against him.

"My advocacy against corruption has been strong. My belief is the same as President Duterte in fighting this. So this accusation against me is impossible," said Mr Sueno, a former provincial governor and city mayor.

Mr Sueno said he was being badmouthed by three junior ministers in the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Asked if Mr Sueno might face further charges, Mr Abella said: "Let us wait for the President to take his subsequent actions." - AFP

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