With days left in his term, President Rodrigo Duterte, a self-proclaimed anti-corruption champion, said on Monday that corruption could not be stopped.

Duterte, whose term will end on June 30, claimed the government could only do so much to stop its officials from getting blinded by money.

“Corruption is endemic. It cannot be stopped but it can be minimized,” the president said during the oath-taking of local officials in his hometown Davao City.

“It is hard to stop the corrosive effect of money upon the person,” he added.

During his final State of the Nation Address in July 2021, Duterte said that to rid the government of corruption, a president’s best course of action was to declare martial law.

“If I were the next president, if you think there’s really a need for you to change everybody in the system, then you declare martial law and fire everybody and allow the new generation to come in to work for the government,” he said.

Replacing Duterte as president is Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., whose father, the late dictator Ferdinand Sr., holds the Guinness World Record for pulling off the greatest robbery of a government.

As of September 2021, the Presidential Commission on Good Government has recovered nearly P175 billion in Marcos ill-gotten wealth. It has yet to recover at least P125 billion.

Marcos Jr. himself is being pushed to collect the P203-billion estate tax liability his family owes the government. John Ezekiel J. Hirro