“It is not the proper time to be discussing it ngayon, now. It’s better left in conferences that are not allowed to be open to the public,” President Rodrigo Duterte said in a media interview after delivering his SONA 2019 when asked why he did not mention about charter change.
“Kasi ‘pag isang provision to one another, magulo eh. Sa isang provision lang if it’s — there are a lot of complaints. A lot of pros and cons. Mahilo ka,” he explained. “So better, you just talk it among yourselves and present it to the public ano na, ‘yung package na — completed.”
He noted that he is still pushing for federalism. “But I said there are things which I cannot mention now. Federalism is good but there are certain things that you have to be very clear,” he said.
“One is that it devolves a lot of authority to the local governments, regional. It must be something like, the president — not I. I suppose that it would come after me. But it has to have a strong president to put together the country,” he added. “Kasi ang federal, it’s a very loose structure na eh. One has a lot of power locally. So the president will have to have to devise it. Until such time that we have perfected it, there has to be a strong president with the same powers now. Pero kung ako, I’m out of it because I think that it will pass beyond my time.”