Duterte virtually declares Presidential plan in PAPI press congress

POSTED: Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte has virtually declared himself available for the presidency in the 2016 national elections if he could get enough support for this reform advocacy vehicle – Federalism or Federal System of government.

Duterte made known his plan though former South Cotabato Gov. Mike Sueno who represented him during the recently concluded 19th National Press Congress organized by the Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI) and held at the Sacred Heart Convention Center in Cebu City.

Through Sueno, who is also interim PDP-Laban chair, Duterte said there is a need for a back-plan if the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) fails to hurdle Congress to prevent the total collapse of the current peace process.

“Let this be a fair warning to our national leaders. The indicators of an eruption of violence in Central Mindanao are becoming very evident,” he warned. Federalism, he added, could be that back up plan.

The Davao City mayor said he is not really keen on becoming president because he is already old, ailing, has no money and he detests begging from taipans who will surely exact paybacks, but if he becomes President, he does not not want an uneventful presidency. ”I want change and I will impose discipline,” he stressed.

Duterte passionately believes in the merits of the federal system of government compared to the present Unitary Presidential system which concentrates state powers in the Chief Executive. Federalism, he said will “hasten economic development of the regions and dissipate the recurrent armed Moro Challenges and lay the basis for a just and lasting peace in Mindanao.”

Under his proposed federal set up, regions will be converted to 10 federal states – four in Luzon: Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog and Bicol; three in the Visayas: Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas and Western Visayas; and three in Mindanao: Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao and Bangsamoro.

Duterte said power sharing between the central government and the federal states will unleash friendly development completion among the federal states, end the dependence of the federal states on the central government, and enable the states to exercise their power and utilize their resources for utmost development without constraints outside those imposed by the Federal Constitution.

Federalism, he said, will resolve the recurrent Moro rebellions because it will allow the Moros to preserve, develop and promote their culture and uniqueness as a people.

He pointed out that neither the Spaniards nor the Americans succeeded in subjugating the Moros of Mindanao who consider their religion and culture as their very life and would rather die fighting to maintain them.

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