PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte vowed to resign even at the end of 2017 on the condition that a new Constitution was in place.
“Let’s have a Constitution that’s inclusive. If it is done by the end of this year, then I will resign,” Duterte said in his speech during the Anti-Corruption Summit spearheaded by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).
“Let’s craft a Constitution that ensures [that]the money of the people would go to the people. Let’s make a deal, let’s craft a new Constitution that suits our way of life. That’s my deal with the opposition,” said Duterte, who has accused the opposition of plotting his ouster.
The Duterte administration is pushing for a federal form of government with 11 states authorized to craft their laws, as well as manage their resources.
Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno echoed Duterte.
He said that the existing unitary form of government would not be able to accommodate the demands of Muslims, which comprise at least five percent of the country’s 100 million population.
“Let me come to what is the most urgent reason why the Philippines should federalize. And this is to enable the country to deal with the demands of our Muslim brothers to have their own homeland which they can govern based on their culture, religion, language and history,” Puno said in September.
There are proposals to amend the Constitution in the House of Representatives and the Senate, which have yet to hurdle the first stage of the arduous task of amending the 30-year-old Charter: the Committee approval.
But Duterte is confident that a new Constitution will be in place by December.
“[Just] maybe add more teeth on [addressing]corruption [on the new Constitution]. I guarantee [you], at the end of the year, I will resign. There will be no ceremony, I will just dive in to Pasig River,” Duterte said, referring to a river beside the Palace.
Talking about the end of his life, Duterte said he would want to be buried beside his mother, Soledad.
“My slot at the Libingan ng mga Bayani? I will put it up for lottery, to whoever wants to be a hero. Just bury me beside my mother’s tomb and I will be okay,” Duterte said.