Duterte: Change in form of gov’t possible only through ‘Con-Con’
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the Constitutional change that will bring about a shift from unitary to the federal form of government can only be possible through a Constitutional Convention (ConCon), and not through the constitutional assembly in Congress.
Duterte, who described the template of the proposed Bangsamoro as “federal,” said a change in the form of government from unitary to federal, can only be done through a Constitutional change by a Constitutional Convention (Con Con) because, he said, he cannot expect Congress to give away power so easily.
“I’m not confident that Congress can do it because no one in his right mind will give away power and money that easily,” Duterte said on Sunday.
Although the Davao City mayor continued to deny any interest in running for presidency, he said that if ever he will become President, he “will not sit an uneventful term for six years,” but without a change into the federal form of government, he will only be doing just that.
“People are asking for change, but not really merely change of faces, they are asking for institutional change,” Duterte said.
“They want to remove congress but that’s a tall order,” he said.
“If I become president under the same structure, nothing will happen. I will not sit an uneventful term for six years,” he added.
He also said he proposed a federal form of government where the President is elected directly by the people, and that even the Constitutional Convention delegates tasked to change the 1987 Constitution should be elected by Filipino voters.
“Let me assure you that under the federal system I am espousing, the President of the Republic will be directly voted by the people, just like the US President and he will still be the head of state and head of government just like in the US,” Duterte said.
He said the “template of BBL is federal,” but what is granted to the Bangsamoro should also be granted to other Moro groups, like those being led by Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari, and other regions in the country.
He also said that only the Philippines has maintained the highly-centralized unitary form of government inherited from its colonial masters, referring to Spain and the United States; and that every prospering country in its neighborhood are already adopting a federal parliamentary form of government.
“You look at Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore,” they are federal parliamentary, look at Japan, a federal parliamentary form of government.”
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