Duterte abandons federalism, pushes for Charter change

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

President Rodrigo Duterte (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 25) — In a turnaround, President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he is no longer batting for a federal form of government.

Instead, he wants the Constitution changed.

“You should change the Constitution, actually. Not for anything. If you don’t want federalism, fine. But change the Constitution that would really change this nation," Duterte said in a speech during the oath-taking of newly-elected officials from the Hugpong ng Pagbabago regional party.

Duterte's federalism initiative is one of his campaign promises. He has repeatedly said a federal form of government can help address insurgency and promote peace in Mindanao.

But on June 10, Senator Bong Go said Duterte believes the push for federalism may languish in the 18th Congress.

The House of Representatives passed a federal charter on third and final reading in the 17th Congress, but no counterpart measure was filed in the Senate.

CNN Philippines' Senior Correspondent Ina Andolong contributed to this report.