Duterte: Filipinos not ready for federalism, but …
President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday that Filipinos might not be ready for a federal form of government but stressed that this was the key to lasting peace in the country and in conflict-ridden Mindanao.
Duterte said there was a need to “find the right formula” in bringing peace to Mindanao.
“We must find the right formula here because, if not, our country, all of us, will sacrifice,” he said in a dinner with the Malacañang reporters.
The President said the decades-long conflict in Mindanao by various groups could not be solved even by the intervention of other countries.
“Kayo lang talaga, nobody else, not even the mediation and the intervention of so many countries. Walang mangyari ito as long as we don’t really concede something,” he said.
He reiterated that only a federal form of government could bring lasting peace in the country.
“[The] problem is Filipinos are not ready for a federal type. It doesn’t seem to ring a bell in the Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.
Nonetheless, Duterte was optimistic that federalism would bring an end to the Moro rebels’ struggle to govern their homeland.
“Alam naman ninyo ang history, I don’t have to repeat it, pagka walang nangyari sa usapan, both the MILF and the MNLF, you would be busy, almost all of you would be there in Mindanao covering a terrible situation in our country,” he said.
He said the Moros already want to end decades-old war in the region.
“Ang mahirap lang is MILF and MNLF, ayaw talaga nila ng gulo. Eto sila gusto na rin nila magpahinga sa away,” he said.
Duterte earlier asked Congress to hasten the country’s shift to a federal form of government.
“Kailangan talaga magbigay kayo diyan. If Congress fails, and I’m not hurrying them up, there will be trouble,” he said. /cbb
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