Speaking to residents of Cotabato City last Friday, Duterte admitted that not all provisions of the Constitution might be amended, noting that people have been used to electing their leaders.
Robinson Ninal/PPD
Duterte not giving up on federalism
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte is not abandoning his bid to change the form of government from presidential to federal, although he is open to the possibility that only some economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution might be amended, Malacañang said yesterday.

Speaking to residents of Cotabato City last Friday, Duterte admitted that not all provisions of the Constitution might be amended, noting that people have been used to electing their leaders.

Despite his admission, the President expressed hope that some economic provisions of the Constitution would be amended. He did not elaborate.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte remains an advocate of federalism but he is open to other ideas.

He noted that Duterte had cited the need to ease some restrictions on foreign ownership to lure more investors.

“You know the President is a very creative person. If he feels that one method is not practical or cannot be realized, he goes to another mode. What is important to him is certain provisions in the Constitution must be amended and that is a judgment call of the Congress,” Panelo said at a press briefing.

“Maybe what he is just saying is perhaps you should prioritize (the economic provisions). If you do not want to rush federalism, prioritize them. But the federalism idea of the President remains. It will always be because he believes in it,” he added.

Panelo said Duterte was just “expressing an idea” and it would be up to Congress to respond to it.

“Perhaps what he is saying is that it takes too long for Congress to act on it. You must remember that he has been advocating for a revision of the Constitution at the inception of his presidency and Congress knew that. But Congress hasn’t taken serious moves to make it a realization,” the spokesman said.

“He tells us he is fond of shaking the trees. So maybe he wants reaction from those who would want to respond to his idea,” he added. “We have to ask Congress why it’s moving slow.”

Panelo said the administration remains optimistic that a federal government would be established before Duterte steps down.

“The President is optimistic that it will because he knows that federalism will help the development of this country. It’s a matter of I think time on the part of Congress who would do it,” he said.

FEDERALISM
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with