Duterte concedes shift to federalism unlikely during his term

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President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivers his speech during the Federalism Summit at the Capitol Convention Center in Pili, Camarines Sur in this photo taken on October 17, 2017. -- PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte, who is midway into his six-year term, has said that the proposed shift to federalism, one of his campaign battle cries, may not be doable before he steps down. In a news conference at the Casa Roces restaurant in Malacañang complex on Monday afternoon, Senator-elect Christopher Lawrence T. Go said the government may have to focus first on its information drive on federalism. “‘Yung federalism, maybe kailangan po talaga ng (it really needs an) education campaign para maintindihan ng tao (so people will understand),” said the former special assistant to the President. “Sa ngayon, medyo malayo’t mahihirapan tayo (As of now, it is quite far off and it will be difficult for us [to pursue it]),” he added. Asked whether the President has accepted that it would be far-fetched to implement the federal system within his term, Mr. Go said: “Yes.” — Arjay L. Balinbin