Marcos: Corruption is a human condition

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A museum employee displays some of the shoes of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, next to her portrait (R) at the shoe museum in Manila on September 26, 2012.  According to press reports, quoting national museum officials, shoes of former first lady Imelda Marcos, being kept at the national museum, which were left behind when the Marcos family fled the country in 1986 during a popular revolt, have been damaged by termites, and floods. AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE        (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/GettyImages)
FILE PHOTO: A museum employee displays some of the shoes of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, next to her portrait (R) at the shoe museum in Manila on September 26, 2012. According to press reports, quoting national museum officials, shoes of former first lady Imelda Marcos, being kept at the national museum, which were left behind when the Marcos family fled the country in 1986 during a popular revolt, have been damaged by termites, and floods. (Photo: TED ALJIBE/AFP/GettyImages)

In his one-on-one interview with talk show host Boy Abunda, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said that corruption has to be “minimized”, and that it is a “human condition.”

The statement came after Abunda asked Marcos Jr. about what he would do about Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) – or bribes in government contracts.

“You just have to minimize it. Corruption is not a Philippine condition, it is a human condition,” said Marcos Jr. “There are dishonest people wherever you go, and there will always be somebody who is trying to finagle the accounts, cooking the books, para meron syang mabulsa. Kailangang bantayan nang mabuti yan. (so that they would be able to pocket the funds. We have to be vigilant about that.)”

Abunda’s question was raised during a segment on Philippine debt, inquiring Marcos about his plan to service the country’s liabilities.

Marcos emphasized on the proper usage of national funds in “revitalizing the economy.”

Tiyakin naman natin na napupunta sa tama. Napupunta sa magandang programa, hindi napupunta sa bulsa ng kung sino man lang, hindi naman nawawaldas, nasasayang lang dahil sa walang kwentang paggamit,” he said.

(Let us ensure that the funds are used correctly. It should go to good programs, and not the pockets of whoever, not squandered, and not wasted on anything useless.)

“We have to make sure that the debt that we are taking on is put to good use so that it generates something in the economy,” he said.

Marcos Jr. commented on funds going into corruption, even saying that stricter measures of checks and balances have to be done.

“If it's going to go into corruption, wala na talaga, palubog na tayo nang palubog (we will continue to drown in debt). The corrosive effect of corruption in the private sector, in the public sector, in any kind of transaction, immediately destroys the transaction,” he said.

“You have to tighten up our checks and balances to make sure that the money that we are getting and paying interest on is used for good things. Hindi nababawasan ng mga korap, buo ang ipapadala mo sa programa, at maganda yung programa na pinaglagyan mo ng pera ngayon (Not reduced by the corrupt, wholly given for the program, and the program where the funds are allocated for has to be good).”

His father, the late dictator Marcos Sr., was granted the title of “Greatest robbery of a Government” by the Guinness World Records, paving the way for the establishment of the Philippine Commission on Good Governance (PCGG) – an agency described by the Official Gazette as “responsible for the recovery of ill-gotten wealth accumulated by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, subordinates, and close associates, whether in the Philippines or abroad.”

Marcos Sr. also abolished checks and balances under his regime, taking control of the entire government through General Order No. 1

Furthermore, Marcos Jr. and his sisters Irene and Senator Imee were affirmed by the Sandiganbayan – the Philippines’ anti-graft court – as beneficiaries of Swiss foundations meant for their interests, where public funds were deposited.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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