It would take someone like former President Ferdinand Marcos to end the corrupt practices in the country, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday, admitting that he cannot end corruption under the present Constitution.
Speaking to Philippine Navy soldiers, the Chief Executive told the public to look for another Marcos, whose family remains infamous for their supposed ill-gotten wealth, who would address the corrupt activities in the government that keeps dragging the country down.
Duterte said he almost cried when he realizes that he carries the country’s many burdens, aggravated by the corruption in the bureaucracy, as President.
“I have a duty that is a burden, sometimes more than I can carry. I can, I almost cry. I told myself, I cannot solve this corruption, it’s everywhere. If there’s a table, if there’s a single chair there, there’s really [a corruption] as the papers go back and forth. That is why I lost trust in bureaucracy,” he said.
“That’s why I lost interest. And it’s true, I would say that I have regrets because I thought, with the constitutional powers given to me, I can do it. But truth to tell, if this happens every day, and every table in the Philippines is like that, I can’t run after them,” the President said.
“I could have done it. But under the law and Constitution, even if you give me 20 years, I cannot do it. Look for another Marcos. Or someday, somehow, somewhere that fellow will be elected in the generations to come,” he added.
Marcos had put the entire country under military rule decades ago. But as his presidency was tainted with corruption allegations and human rights violations, the late strongman was ousted during the 1986 People Power Revolution.
Marcos’ successor, the later President Corazon Aquino, formed the Presidential Commission on Good Government which was tasked to recover the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family and their cronies.
Duterte’s remark came as the government is still in the process to recover the Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth.
Two months ago, the Palace said innocent martial law victims during the Marcos regime must be compensated.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the compensation should be ample enough to commensurate the suffering of human rights victims during the martial law years.
Meanwhile, the PCGG had assured Malacañang that it will ensure that all proceeds of the public auction of the P700 million worth of jewelry collection seized from former First Lady Imelda Marcos will go directly to the government treasury and will contribute to the programs intended for the Filipino people.