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Duterte forges on with his avowed duties despite regrets in fight against corruption

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By Genalyn Kabiling

The morale of President Duterte is currently “low” amid the heavy burden of the presidency.

President Rodrigo Duterte attends the 121st anniversary of Philippine Navy at Sangley Point in Cavite on Monday, June 17, 2019. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

President Rodrigo Duterte attends the 121st anniversary of Philippine Navy at Sangley Point in Cavite on Monday, June 17, 2019. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

A few days after admitting he regretted seeking the highest government post, the President conceded that he was struggling with addressing corruption in government that he almost cried.

“Ako ‘yung medyo low morale ako ngayon [I have a low morale now] but anyway let me fix things before I go,” he said during the Philippine Navy’s 121st anniversary celebration in Cavite Monday.

“I have a duty that is a burden — sometimes more than I can carry. I can — I almost cry,” he added.

Duterte has expressed his dismay with rampant corruption in government, raising doubts if he could ever completely stamp out such menace.

“Sabi ko na hindi ko kaya itong corruption [I said I cannot resolve corruption],” he said, citing irregularities in government transactions.

“If there’s a table, if there’s a single chair there, meron talaga ‘yan as the papers go back and forth, inward. That is why nawalan ako ng tiwala sa bureaucracy [That is why I have lost trust in the bureaucracy],” he said.

Duterte also admitted that he has lost his enthusiasm to go to work after discovering some irregularities in the bureaucracy.

He said he thought he could address the problem within the constitutional powers given to a president. “But truth to tell, kung araw-araw na lang pati every table dito sa Pilipinas ganoon, hindi ko talaga mahabol [If it will persist every day, every table in the Philippines is tainted, I really can’t run after it],” he said.

Despite his low morale, Duterte has vowed to continue to keep the country’s law and order as well as combat corruption.

“I can maybe just hang on because three years na lang ako. But ubusin ko na lang itong lahat,” he said.

“Kailangan talaga pugpugin natin ‘yang NPA and drugs because rated tayo as number two. Huwag kayong maniwala diyan sa Human Rights, ako na ang magpakulong diyan [We need to combat the NPA and drugs because we are rated number two. Don’t believe the human rights, I will put them in jail],” he said.

Duterte also reiterated that he was ready to be hanged or jailed over his actions to address the nation’s problems.

“You know the presidency is a gift from God. Maski ako hindi ko akalaing manalo ako. But since it was given to me, my gift to you is my sacrifice. I may go to jail. I may be hanged. It’s all right,” he said.

He directed law enforcement agencies to continue to perform their job in fighting illegal drugs and other crimes. “Trabaho lang kayo. Basta trabaho, trabaho, walang atrasan and I will answer legally for everything,” he said.

In his visit to Cagayan de Oro City last week, the President publicly admitted that he regretted running for president in 2016 amid his dismay with corruption.

The President said he has even offered to resign when he recently learned about the alleged anomalous transactions in a military hospital as well as irregular Nayong Pilipino lease deal.

“I lost my enthusiasm to work. Actually, I deeply regretted it. I regretted my decision to run for president,” he said.

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