President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said he won't run for president under a federal system of government even if the shift is approved before his 6-year term ends in 2022.
In a press conference after arriving from state visits to Cambodia and Singapore, Duterte said if a federal form of government with a strong president is crafted and approved in 2 to 3 years, he will "gladly step down."
"If by 2018, it's [shift to federal gov't] finished, I will step down. I give you my word, you can call for an election. Wala na akong ambition (I've no ambition). I do not crave for power," he added.
He said he should be disqualified from seeking the presidency under a federal form of government.
Duterte, the first Philippine president from Mindanao, reiterated that federalism would solve the country's conflict with Muslim insurgents, calling his support for the shift the country's last chance to settle armed conflict.
Duterte's political party, PDP-Laban, is spearheading moves to shift from a unitary system of government to a federal form by 2022.