MANILA–Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte asserted once more his commitment to evolving the country’s form of government towards a federal system to allow for the better distribution of public services.
Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd in Pasay City during the PDP Thanksgiving Party themed “PDP Takbo sa Puso, No to Drugs, Yes to Federalism”, the President reiterated his commitment to work for a federal form of government .
“Magkadiperensya tayo sa lahat ng bagay, huwag lang sa public interest. Kasi kung public interest na either magkasundo tayo or hiwa-hiwalay tayo,” Duterte said at one point during the event.
The Chief Executive asserted that he fully intends to keep his promise during the campaign last year to decentralize governance from Manila and towards local government units particularly in strife-torn Mindanao.
“Yung talagang pinupukpok ko noon was federalism, that was the centerpiece. Let me remind the Filipino people, ito ano ko lang –kung tatanggapin ninyo, ‘pag hindi then you can disregard it maybe, answer in contempt or sarcasm will apply. Pero ito ang tandaan ninyo, we have to change the system,” he said.
The President pointed out that the present unitary system allows the chief executive to rule from Malacanan like a king and unduly hinders the distribution of benefits to the people “because of the political set up.”
“Ngayon, ‘yung sinasabi nilang maganda itong unitary type na may hari ka diyan sa Malacañan na ‘yan, na he rules the Republic as if he is a king,” Duterte said.
According to President Duterte, the federal system of government would bring peace with Muslim insurgents, and is the country’s last chance to end the armed conflict. “We must remember Mindanao is part of the Philippines, pag di mo binigay sa Moro yung federal system this country will never be peaceful,” Duterte stressed.
The President also reiterated his willingness to cut short his six year term once a new system of government is adopted. “Ako, pag na-ratify ‘yan, na-plebisito ‘yan at gets the nod of the Filipino people, I will step down. Do it in three or four –ang akin is six years –I will step down. That is my commitment to you,” the President said.