Amending the Constitution is not the absolute method in answering political challenges, an assistant professor at the University of the Philippines said on Wednesday as he joined other opponents of President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to shift to a federal system of government.
Speaking to reporters at the Jaime V. Ongpin Annual Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, Gene Lacza Pilapil added that the government could try many institutional packages and designs rather than resorting to federalism.
“I think one thing that I tried to emphasize is that ‘Don’t believe in absolutes’ in the sense that the only thing that would save us now is federalism,” Pilapil said.
“Because there are so many institutional packages, there are so many ways to design an institution such that you could answer certain political goals. It may not be one absolute, it may not be one institutional solution because there are many ways,” he added.
In his campaign sorties during the May 2016 elections, then-presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte pushed for federalism, saying it is the solution to bring peace to southern Mindanao.
“I have seen enough bloodshed to last a lifetime,” Duterte said. “If we build a federal [government], I will build a consensus, it will be beneficial for our country.”