President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, October 17, led the Federalism Summit here and told Bicol’s leaders to launch discussions of federalism in the communities. The Chief Executive also led the oath taking of new members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
“I encourage all of the Bicolano local leaders to begin discussions on Federalism in your communities, even as you strengthen the efforts against illegal drugs, crime, and corruption,” the Chief Executive said in his speech.
“It is our vision to create a system of government that will give lasting peace, progress, and prosperity for all of our peoples,” he added as he called on the beginning of the process of transformation that would usher in a “better Philippines for ourselves and the future generations.”
According to the President, failure to shift to federalism will result in difficulties in Mindanao.
“Now, itong federalism is… Ito magprangka ako ha. ‘Pag hindi ito natuloy or any change that would modify the present structure, which is really an unfair set-up, it will lead into a trouble again sa Mindanao,” he said.
“Kasi itong unitary type of government vis-à-vis federal type, this is the setup of the Spaniards. Tayo na lang ang nagpaiwan sa Asia from Indonesia to Malaysia to Australia to Singapore, to Japan, Korea, tayo na lang ang unitary type. We can have a president under a federal setup,” the President said.
In addition, President Duterte said he would advise a strong President while the country is still in the formative stage of federalism.
“Kung saan na lang tayo, it will be easy if we agree na mag-federal tayo. Kapag hindi, talagang sasabog ‘to because then, I would predict that the MI, MN would now join with everybody… and there are aplenty ang armas,” the President explained.