Duterte’s lament: Pinoys not ready for federalism

User Rating:  / 1

President Duterte on Tuesday, Dec. 12, conceded that Filipinos were “not ready” for a federal form of government.

The President said that his administration’s drive to shift the form of government from presidential to a federal setup was not catching fire in places where he had expected strong public support.

He made the admission at a Christmas party for members of the Malacañang Press Corps.

“The problem is, I think, the Filipinos are not ready for a federal type,” Mr. Duterte said, adding: “It does not seem to ring a bell in the Visayas and Mindanao or, if at all, [only among] those who are really dedicated and are thinking Filipinos.”

The administration is pushing for a federal form of government in the country as this would help resolve the long-pestering secessionist conflict in Mindanao.

Malacañang is also pushing for the congressional approval of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which will give flesh to peace agreements signed by the government and Moro rebels and, it is hoped, end decades of fighting in Muslim-dominated areas of Mindanao.

The draft BBL was transmitted to both the House of Representatives and the Senate in August. The following month, House leaders filed the proposed measure. 


‘Right formula’

“The problem is Mindanao because, as I have said it before, we must try to find the right formula. If not, our country, all of us, will suffer,” the President warned.

Mr. Duterte said Filipinos had to “concede” that the Bangsamoro people should have a homeland in Mindanao.

“We concede to a territorial portion of Mindanao as theirs. Carve out something more than just a federal type,” he added.

The President said there was a window of opportunity to resolve the secessionist problem in Mindanao since the aging leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) also wanted peace.

“The higher echelons are a little bit old and, maybe, they realize … you’d be in a better position to lie in state, in peace, if you know you’ve done something for the country and for the children,” Mr. Duterte said.

“They also want to take a rest from the fighting,” he added.

Citing historical precedents, the President warned: “I don’t have to repeat it, if nothing happens to the talks [with] both the MILF and the MNLF, you would be busy, almost all of you would be there in Mindanao covering a terrible situation in our country.” –


The Filipino Express

2711 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ 07306 USA.

Phone: 201 434-1114
Fax: 201 434-0880

Who's Online

We have 131 guests and no members online