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Duterte bares why he fired DOTr ASec Mark Tolentino: He talked to my sister even if Mindanao railway still a blueprint

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President Rodrigo Duterte warned government officials anew about dropping his or his relatives’ name for favors as he provided details on why he fired Transportation Assistant Secretary Mark Tolentino.

In a speech in Davao City Thursday (May 24), Duterte said he has been clear he does not allow discussions about government projects with his relatives.

Referring to Tolentino, he said: “And even the discussion of that Mindanao railway, it’s still in the blueprint. But the fact that itong assistant secretary talked it over with my sister even if just a conversation. Lumayo talaga kayo because sabi ko ‘pag nalaman ko, tapos. Alis ka talaga.”

“Eh ‘yung mali kasi nung assistant secretary mo Secretary is he mentioned that he was talking to a member of the First Family,” Duterte added.

Tolentino claimed that certain officials within the Department of Transportation want the Mindanao Railway project to be delayed so it will be funded in full by China through loans.

He said he obtained the blessing of a member of the First Family to proceed with the project using government funds.

Duterte said calling his family as the First Family was already “passé.”

“You do not use it in a democratic country. Huwag mong gamitin ‘yang ‘first family, first family.’ There is no such thing as a first family,” he said.