- President praised his predecessor for being the most enterprising out of country’s presidents
- He pointed to two of Marcos’s projects as proof of his resourcefulness
- He said Filipinos would’ve been better if the projects were carried out correctly
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte described his predecessor Ferdinand Marcos as the country’s “most enterprising president” even as he urged critics not to judge the late strongman by his faults alone.
“Marami siyang mali, pero huwag na naman nating isahin na wala siyang ginawa. But dito sa utak [He had many faults, but let’s not say he did not do anything good. As for his intelligence], I said he was the most enterprising president that we ever had, he came from the province where he grew up in a simple country life,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying.
Duterte then pointed to two of Marcos’s projects, the Biyayang Dagat which provided fishermen with soft loans and the Masagana 99 which helped develop agricultural production, as proof of his resourcefulness. He said that had Marcos kept to the straight path, his two projects would have benefited the Filipinos greatly.
“You know, Marcos, for whatever his faults, was really an enterprising Ilocano. Iyung [The] Biyayang Dagat niya was just corrupted along the way. Siguro [Maybe] during the time of his weak moments na, he could not govern effectively,” he said.
“Iyung Biyayang Dagat at Masagana 99, kapag dinala na iyo ng Pilipino nang husto at hindi ninakaw ang pera [If the Biyayang Dagat and Masagana 99 were implemented effectively and budget for them was not stolen], we would have been better off,” the president added.
Duterte had previously said he was considering copying Marcos’s two projects to help develop the country’s agricultural and fisheries sector.