DAVAO CITY, Philippines – As criticisms started to pour against the proposed amendments to the Philippine Constitution to pave the way for a federal charter, President Rodrigo Duterte posed a challenge to his detractors that he would step down from the office prior to the effectivity of the new form of government.
Speaking before the participants to the opening ceremony of the National Science and Technology Week at SMX Convention Center last July 6 here, Duterte emphasized that he would make a proposal to the Constitutional Convention Committee tasked to review the Constitution to make such correction and ask the Congress to approve his plan to bow out of office before the new constitution takes effect.
“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 ‘yan,” the President pointed out.
He also hit his critics, describing them as being so engrossed that every proposal to amend the constitution is immediately associated with the extension of his term in office.
“Sabi nila gusto kong ma-Presidente. Itong mga opposition, they are so engrossed na every time they look at the proposal sa Constitution, ‘Ah, Duterte will make it longer for him to stay in power,’” Duterte said.
The Consultative Committee tasked to review the 1987 Constitution has already approved the draft of the proposed federal constitution last July 3.
The committee, headed by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno has already submitted to Duterte the proposed draft last July 9, Monday in Malacañang.
The proposal is the output of the 22-member committee headed by Puno tasked to study and make revisions to the 1987 Constitution.
Malacañang will study the draft before its submission to Congress for approval.
“Trabahohin ninyo. Make the changes now. 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,” Duterte said. (davaotoday.com)