President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday vowed to resign once government has a working federal system in place by 2020, as he also swore not to take any transitory position in the country’s bid to federalism.
“I will commit to you now you do not have to remind me, if there can be a working federal setup by year 2020, I am going to step down,” Duterte said in a speech at the oath-taking of new presidential appointees in Malacañang.
“I do not want any transition position. I do not have any plans of perpetuating myself in power, it ain’t in my system,” he added.
Duterte preferred to adopt the French experience in federalism, in which the government has a prime minister and a president.
The President also repeated his order to the military to arrest and even shoot him, should he overstay in Malacañang for 24 hours.
“And I have told the military time and again as good as any other time, that if I overstay even for 24 hours there in Malacanang, you can arrest me and shoot me,” he said.
It was not the first time Duterte vowed to resign from office. During his presidential campaign, he promised to resign should he be unable to eradicate criminality and illegal drugs in his first three to six months in office.
In November last year, he also swore to resign should he fail to curb corruption in government.
Critics have raised alarm in the administration’s bid to federalism, saying this might lead to “centralized powers” and term extensions for Duterte and other government officials.
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