Duterte to step down if federalism pushes through

Duterte to step down if federalism pushes through

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech in National Science and Technology Week celebration held in Davao City on July 6, 2018. (Photo taken from RTVM)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte reiterates his position on the presidency once the transition of government pushes through to federalism.

In a speech in Davao City Friday (July 5), the President urged the Palace Consultative Committee (ConCom), headed by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, to make the final changes and let him stay in office only until 2019 if the transition succeeds.

“Make my term co-terminus, with the beginning of the draft constitution. Make me stop being president during the transition. In other words, elect a president before you make the transition from unitary to federal. I would be willing to accept the proposal. Galing na sa akin iyan,” Duterte said.

The President made the statement after the ConCom skipped to ban Duterte and other incumbent officials from reelection in the draft federal charter.

But ConCom’s spokesperson Conrado Generoso clarified that the provision on the term extension for the President was one unintended result of the change in the form of government.

“Kapag nagsusulat ka ng Constitution, you are ‘personality blind’ ibig sabihin wala kang tinitingnan na partikular na tao na masasagasaan o magbebenepisyo…Pangalawa, hindi mo pwedeng ilagay ang provision na ganyan sa Constitution dahil it is discriminatory, undemocratic. Ang tawag diyan ay class legislation,” Generoso said.

Still, Duterte said he is not interested in extending his term as president.

“Make me resign or ask me to step down by a constitutional fiat that there will be an election before we proceed with the adoption of the constitution,” he firmly said.

Duterte is expected to receive the draft of the federal charter Monday (July 9). – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo

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