Duterte renews call for charter change
MANILA, Philippines — After announcing Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as his bet for House Speaker, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday renewed his call to change the Constitution.
“We have to change the Constitution — whether federal or what not,” Duterte said in a speech before newly-appointed officials in Malacañang.
Cayetano will share the term with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, who was also vying for the House speakership will be the majority floor leader.
The President said he had talked to the three contenders to settle the House speakership row.
“Sabi ko doon sa tatlo kinausap ko: Si Speaker and that is Cayetano. Velasco, he will be assuming sa term-sharing — ,aybe kung buhayin pa siya, maabutan pa niya. Tapos si majority floor leader, sabi ko: ‘If you want to change the Constitution, do it now. Nandiyan pa ako,’” the President said.
[I told the three of them: The Speaker will be Cayetano. Velasco will assume the post on time-sharing — maybe if he’s still around to assume it. And to the majority floor leader, I said: ‘If you want to change the Constitution, do it now. I’m still here.’]
The shift to a federal form of government was a campaign promise of the President. But in a recent speech, he said was no longer inclined to push for federalism.
“If you do not want federalism, fine. But change the Constitution that would change this nation,” he said back then.
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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