With tax cases still pending, Marcos says he ‘will not tolerate’ corruption

·2 min read
Philippine president-elect Ferdinand
Philippine president-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, speaks during a news conference at his headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Philippines, May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Lisa Marie David

President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said his administration will not tolerate any form of corruption in government, especially in offices such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) – where his family still has outstanding tax debt.

In a briefing with select reporters on Thursday (May 26), Marcos said that his administration will run after corrupt officials.

“Now that I am the one in command, there should be no more corrupt practices. We will run after them (corrupt officials),” said Marcos, “Because we will not succeed, the economy in the Philippines will simply not succeed if we cannot collect duties and tariffs through the Bureau of Customs and if we do not have good collection of taxes, both at the national and local levels,” he said.

The dictator’s son, however, was quick to stress that his administration will not focus on investigating corruption issues from previous administrations.

Kalimutan na lang natin ‘yung nakaraan (Let’s forget about the past). It was not under my watch, hindi ako ang namamahala noon (I was not the one in office at that time),” Marcos said.

Incoming press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles meanwhile clarified that Marcos does not mean that those with pending corruption cases will be cleared.

“I think the approach as he had expounded in previous interviews is simply not to concentrate too much on fault finding, not in the sins of the past, because in his words ‘Ako na ang namamahala ngayon' (I'm now in charge),'” Cruz-Angeles said.

The Supreme Court has ruled three times that the Marcos family committed fraud during Ferdinand Marcos Sr’s dictatorship between 1965 and 1986 and has ordered them to repay millions of dollars.

Likewise, Imelda Marcos has been convicted of seven counts of graft for violating an anti-corruption law when she illegally funneled about $200 million to Swiss foundations in the 1970s as Metro Manila governor.

The Marcoses seem to be celebrating after Marcos Jr’s proclamation with his sister, Senator Imee Marcos, saying that they were grateful for the second chance to lead the country after they were forced to go on exile following the 1986 EDSA people power revolution.

“Yes we’re very, very grateful for a second chance as it were, dahil medyo mabigat ang pinagdaanan ng aming pamilya, talagang matapos ‘yong 1986 kung ano-anong kaso ang hinarap namin bukod pa do’n sa pangungutya at pang-aapi, sabihin na natin, eh medyo hirap talaga ‘yong pamilya namin for the past almost four decades,” Imee Marcos told reporters.

(Yes we’re very, very grateful for a second chance as it were, because what we went through was heavy. After 1986, we faced a lot of cases and ridicule. Let’s say that our family was poor for the past almost four decades.)

The Marcoses’ rule has been considered the darkest time in Philippine history with grave human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, and massive corruption.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.

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