Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos said Saturday the Philippines' leaders must "set the example" to fight the scourge of corruption in government.
Corrupt officials must know that they risk removal from office and jail time if they don't change their ways, said Marcos, as he discussed his platform on state broadcaster PTV. The taped interview was aired an hour before the Comelec live debate that he is skipping.
"The leadership, kailangan mag-set ng example. Kami hindi ginagawa yan, 'wag niyong gagawin yan kung hindi tanggal kayo, hindi lang tanggal, ikukulong namin kayo," Marcos told "The Chatroom" hosts Erwin Tulfo and Communications Sec. Martin Andanar.
Marcos described corruption as a "human condition" and not something that is peculiar to Filipinos. "Mayroon talagang tao diyan na 'di diretso magisip," he said. On the lower end of the democracy, he said there must be a crackdown on fixers.
"At the the higher level of government ang talagang kailangan, mamili ka ng magaling na tao na alam mong hindi corrupt at kung meron talagang problema, ayusin agad.
"No sacred cows here, if you are seen to be corrupt hahabulin ka talaga," he said.
Marcos has repeatedly refused calls from human rights victims to apologize for the documented abuses under the two-decade-long regime of his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Asked about criticism in the PTV interview, Marcos said: "Natural yan, lalong-lalo ngayon kampanya."
"Lahat naman yan natanong yan. Nasagot na namin yan," he said.