By Argyll Cyrus Geducos and Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte said the public should just elect another leader like Ferdinand Marcos if they want to rid the government of corruption, stressing that not even two decades of running the government is enough for him to cleanse the bureaucracy.
“Hindi ko kaya itong corruption kasi maski saang (I cannot eradicate corruption no matter how)… If there’s a table, if there’s a single chair there, meron talaga ‘yan (it will be there) as the papers go back and forth, inward. That is why nawalaan ako ng tiwala sa (I lost trust in the) bureaucracy,” he said.
“Sabihin ko nagsisi ako kasi akala ko (I regret it because I thought that) within the constitutional powers na ibinigay sa akin, kaya ko (I will be able to do it),” he added.
“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.
“Pero sa batas na ito (But with this law), Constitution, even if you give me 20 years I cannot do it. Maghanap uli kayo ng (Just look for another) Marcos. Or someday, somehow, somewhere that fellow will be elected in the generations to come,” he continued.
The President also said that the Philippines will never be like Hong Kong.
“Kung sabihin mo mag-improve tayo (If you say that we will improve) beyond the level that we find ourselves economically, politically, well I’m sorry, I’m telling you, hindi dadating ‘yan (that will never happen),” Duterte said.
“Not even half what Hong Kong will be in 30 years. Sobra kasi ang (It’s too much)… I don’t know but the constitution that… I’m not trying to criticize. It is as good as any,” he added.
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.