Trust me on Cha-cha, Duterte urges people
Trust me on this.
President Duterte has assured the public that he would not allow lawmakers to tinker with the 1987 Constitution just to protect their own interests.
Addressing members of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) on Wednesday night, the President urged the people not to be “too judgmental” on the motives of those pushing for Charter change.
“Believe me. I will be the last one to agree to anything there that would destroy our country,” he said during the courtesy call of PPCRV members in Malacañang.
“The only reason I won is that I carried the right message. I have to stop corruption. Now I’m telling you, it will really be a clean government. For the nth time, I’m telling you that,” he said, drawing applause from his visitors.
“So do not be afraid of whatever method that they would use because your guarantee is myself,” he said.
Mr. Duterte, who has been aggressively pushing for federalism, again expressed his readiness to step down from power if Congress would modify the country’s presidential system to a federal form of government by amending the 29-year-old Constitution.
He also explained why he changed his mind and backed the suggestions to convene the Congress as a constitutional assembly (Con-ass) after he initially endorsed constitutional convention (Con-con) as the mode to push the Charter change.
The Chief Executive said he was told during the National Security Council meeting last week that the government might have to spend up to P50 billion if Con-con would be delayed.
“I said, ‘This is foolishness,’” Mr. Duterte said, adding that he would rather shut down Congress and arrest all its members if they would pursue new provisions in the Constitution that would not sit well with the people.
The President then warned lawmakers: “Don’t fool the people. If you force it, I will close you down… I will treat you like drug addicts.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.