Duterte wants move to shift to federal to start this year

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2017 05:15 PM | Updated as of Mar 13 2017 05:34 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte. Reuters

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he wants Congress to act fast on efforts to place the Philippines under a federal form of government.

Speaking at a news conference in Malacañang, Duterte admitted there will only be a “small window” for his government to push for federalism during his 6-year term.

“[There is a] small window to work on it. So, let it be known to all the people that the Senate President is equally as interested with the Speaker and me that we have to start the federalism movement, whatever it is the mechanism, this year,” Duterte said.

Duterte believes introducing a federal form of government will “correct the injustices” done on the Moro people.

“Itong federalism is really the centerpiece of our campaign during last elections. It remains to be so,” he said.

“If we fail dito sa panahon ko, I really don’t know what will happen, but for sure, it would tear this country apart.”

Duterte said, the current unitary form of government, where power is centralized in the capital, has so far failed to address the needs of the Filipino people.