President Rodrigo Duterte stressed on Tuesday that the 1987 constitution must be amended to resolve “very virulent” corruption in the country.
As he graced the Anti-Corruption Summit 2017 and the 2nd Philippine Construction Congress hosted by the Volunteers against Crime and Corruption (VACC) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, Duterte said the present constitution allows corruption to thrive.
“Corruption is a very virulent thing that’s almost hard to stop because ang ating [our] Constitution was really crafted to allow accountability to escape most of the time,” the president said.
“And the only way to do it is actually — We have to change or amend our Constitution. Walang iba [No other way],” he added.
Duterte said he wants the Philippines to craft a new constitution under his term that would “serve the people” which will include provision versus corruption, saying that he will resign once it was achieved.
“We craft a new constitution… I will place my input there… It’s a dream but pagkatapos niyan [but after that], and when it is really a Constitution that would suit our way of life and correct the evil things there,” Duterte said.
“As long as we come up with a Constitution that would guarantee, first that the money of the people should go to serve the people. Okay ako [I’m good]…Then when it is done this year, I will resign at the end of the year. The end of the year is the end of my political career,” he added.
Duterte also clarified that he has no plans to stay in office longer than his six-year term even with his proposal of charter change.
“It is not intended to give me dictatorial powers. Constrict it if you want,” Duterte said.
Duterte added that the government should award projects to the lowest bidder.
He also said the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Office of the Ombudsman should be strengthened.
The stakeholders who attended the summit submitted a list of recommendations and a 10-point Reform Plan to the president.
The recommendations include that all line agencies under the President should set the stage for bureaucratic reforms for heads of government to be accountable, take command responsibility of all their actions and eliminate undue human intervention of agents and middlemen in all transactions.