MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte renewed his pitch for federalism at the 35th anniversary program of ruling PDP-Laban political party in Pasay City on Sunday.
In a speech before members of the party and supporters at the PICC Grounds, Duterte reiterated the need for a federal system of government to achieve lasting peace in the country.
"We have to change the system. For the longest time, it has brought injustice to our people," Duterte said, adding that he is willing to step down from his post if a federal system of government is adopted.
Duterte said he noticed during the campaign that no lawmaker was talking about problems in Mindanao which strengthened his belief that a federal system of government is necessary.
"We can bring peace in Mindanao with federalism," he said.
"Kung 'di mo ibigay sa Moro 'yung federal setup, this country will never never be peaceful until the last day of the world," he added.
Duterte is a staunch advocate of federalism in the country, a proposal he has made even during his campaign for the presidency.
The President also took the opportunity to praise PDP-Laban lawmakers such as House justice committee Chair Rey Umali whom he called a "a bright boy;" Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez whom he described as a "topnotcher," and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre who earned Latin honors during their college days.