Pinoys not ready for federalism — Duterte
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 13, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — While admitting that Filipinos are  not yet ready for a federal government, President Duterte said federalism should be adopted to attain lasting peace in Mindanao.

 “The problem is Filipinos are not ready for a federal type (of government). It doesn’t seem to ring a bell in the Visayas and Mindanao,” the President said at a Christmas party he hosted for journalists covering Malacañang on Tuesday night. 

“If Congress fails, and I’m not hurrying them up, there will be trouble,” Duterte said.

A shift to a federal form of government is one of Duterte’s campaign promises. He said the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which are involved in peace negotiations with the government, are tired of fighting. 

“If nothing happens in the talks with both the MILF and MNLF, you (journalists) would be busy. Almost all of you would be there in Mindanao covering a terrible situation in our country,” the President said. 

Duterte believes the intervention of other countries would not address the conflict in Mindanao “as long as we don’t really concede something.”

“We must find the right formula here...If not,...all of us will have to sacrifice,” he said. 

In his earlier speeches, the President said the Philippines should just give up Mindanao if  Congress will not pass the measure adopting federalism.

Duterte said a change in the form of government could not be expected if the proposal is not approved during his term.        

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