President Rodrigo Duterte is storngly supportive of changing the constitution to pave the way for his brainchild of federalism.
At first he is batting for a constitutional convention (ConCon). But after being briefed on the cost that range between P10 and P50 billion, he is now on the side for a constitutional assembly (ConAss) out of the current members of the 16th congress.
On Wednesday, he called on lawmakers to do their part in changing the Constitution but warned them not to take advantage of it otherwise face the consequence.
“Mamili kayo… You do it properly. Do not, huwag mong lokohin ang tao. Pag pinilit ninyo iyan, sarado kayong lahat (Choose. Do it properly. Do not fool the people . If you insist on it I’ll close you down),” he said referring to lawmakers’ personal interests.
Duterte, in his speech in Malacanang before volunteers of the Parish Pasctoral Council for Responsible Voting stressed that Constitution change lies on his goal to introduce a Federal system of government. The president, so believes, is the best mode of government that would ensure a sustained and inclusive growth for all citizens.
Calling the attention of members of the Congress, he said, ”And for all the time that you’d been crafting a new Constitution I am here… Maniwala kayo (believe me) that I will be the last one to agree to any thing there that would destroy our country.
Duterte assured that whatever the lawmakers craft will be submitted to the voters for plebiscite.
“If you can amend the Constitution, and you can do it by three to four years, and you can elect a new president and a parliament like France, I will willingly give up the remaining years of my term and go out. Walang drama. Wala lahat. Magre-retire na ako (If you can amend the Constitution and you can do it by three to four years, and you can elect a new president and a parliament like France, I will willingly give up the remaining years of my term and go out. No drama. No anything. I will retire),” he said.
On the same occasion, he made known his intention to “destroy the oligarchs that are embedded in government now.”
He cited as example tycoon Roberto Ongpin, Trade and Industry Minister during the Marcos regime, whom he said has connections even in the administration of former Presidents Fidel Ramos, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III.
Ongpin heads several entities including real estate company Alphaland Corporation, which he serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since November 11, 2009.(from PNA story)