Duterte touts 'another Marcos' as cure for corruption
Duterte, who has often praised the ousted dictator, approved the burial of Ferdinand Marcos' remains at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in 2016.
Interaksyon.com, file composite photo

Duterte touts 'another Marcos' as cure for corruption

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - June 17, 2019 - 9:23pm

MANILA, Philippines — Can't handle corruption? Look for another Marcos.

President Rodrigo Duterte admitted Monday that he cannot end corruption under the present constitution as he claimed that it would take someone like Ferdinand Marcos , from whose family and cronies the government is still trying to recover ill-gotten wealth, to address the problem. 

Duterte admitted losing his drive to perform his task because of the corruption in the bureaucracy, which he said is dragging the Philippines down. 

"I have regrets because I thought within the constitutional powers given to me, I can do it. But truth to tell, if this happens everyday and every table in the Philippines is like that, I can't run after them," the president said during the 121st anniversary of the Philippine Navy in Cavite. 

"Kaya ko. Pero sa batas na ito, constitution (I could have done it but with this constitution), even if you give me 20 years, I cannot do it. Maghanap uli kayo ng Marcos (Look for another Marcos). Or someday, somehow, somewhere that fellow will be elected in the generations to come," he added. 

READ: Duterte OKs auction of Marcos jewelry worth more than P700M

Marcos, whose presidency was tainted with allegations of corruption and human rights violations, was ousted during the 1986 People Power Revolution.

His successor, Corazon Aquino, created the Presidential Commission on Good Government to recover the ill-gotten wealth of his family and his cronies. 

As of 2017, the PCGG recovered more than P171 billion of the supposed Marcos ill-gotten wealth.

In 2003, the Supreme Court awarded to the Philippine government at least $658 million Swiss bank deposits that Marcos and his wife Imelda supposedly stashed and hid "under layers and layers of foundations and corporate entities."

The high court ruled that the Swiss deposits "should be considered ill-gotten wealth and forfeited in favor of the state."

RELATED: Imelda Marcos found guilty of 7 counts of graft

Duterte hits party-list system

Duterte stressed that the Philippines would not rise if it does not improve economically and politically. He went on to criticize the 1987 Constitution, which was 
ratified during the administration of Corazon Aquino. 

"I’m not trying to criticize. It is as good as any, mas mabuti pa kung wala talaga ‘yung kay Cory," Duterte said. 

The Duterte administration has been working on changing the constitution to one for a federal form of government but low public awareness and support for the move has slowed the campaign down.

Duterte cited the party-list system, which he said is benefitting millionaires. 

"And for all of the brightest who crafted that constitution, son of... they did not see the simplest fact that money buys everything including political party," the 
president said. 

"And who benefits? The rich...It's really a disaster," he added. 

Rep. Mikee Romero (1-Pacman party-list) is the wealthiest member of the House of Representatives with a declared net worth of P7.858 billion. Also among the richest lawmakers is Rep. Virgilio Lacson (Manila Teachers party-list), who has a declared net worth of P794 million. 

But Rep. Sarah Elago (Kabataan party-list), the least wealthy with a declared net worth of P85,000, is also from a party-list.

READ: Who’s who: Richest, poorest House lawmakers in 2018

NOLCOM chief to be named MWSS administrator

At the same event, Duterte offered the post of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System administrator to Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat, chief of the Northern Luzon Command. 

In the middle of his extemporaneous remarks, Duterte looked for Salamat, who was in the audience. 

The president then asked the Marine general when he would reture. Salamat told Duterte he would hang up his uniform next month.

"If (MWSS Administrator) Dick Morales agrees, I would move Dick out of MWSS. I will place you there...Then I would look for the next general," Duterte said.

Duterte reiterated that the civilian bureaucracy "is not crafted to solve problems immediately."

"If you give them the project, they will debate with you. Then it would take them eternity to do the project until the money is gone," he said. 

Rody wants aviation issues addressed

Duterte reiterated the need to ease the congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport by transferring flights to the Sangley Airport in Cavite. 

He said come passengers complained that they stayed for five hours inside the plane./

"The riding public are pitiful...the very essence of a common carrier, whether it is a jeep, a bus, an airplane, a ship - what's common there is for public interest and public governance, and convenience," the president said.

"If you cannot provide convenience and comfort, do we ought not to be there at all?" he added.

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