Duterte wants new Constitution that will restrict powers to stop corruption
President Rodrigo Duterte has urged Congress to amend the 1987 Constitution that will "shorten or restrict the powers" of elected officials, including the president.
In a speech in Dasmarinas, Cavite on Tuesday night, Duterte said he was also open to do away his presidency as long as the new Constitution would ensure to stop corruption in government.
"I am addressing myself to Congress. Let us amend the Constitution. Shorten or restrict the powers of everybody, including the presidency. But make a Constitution that would mandate more accountability and responsibility of officials," he said.
"If you can craft a law wherein I would also put my own inputs there and it would guarantee everybody or stop corruption, do not be afraid to amend the law. Either you can do away with my presidency, but if you succeed, I said, in crafting a law, which would ensure stopping corruption in this country, I will be willing," Duterte said.
Duterte said the public should not be afraid of dictatorship because he was not aiming for it.
"I do not ask it and I do not like it," he said, adding that he would be even willing to leave his post as soon as the new Constitution is in place.
"If you (Congress) will give it to the Filipino, I will step down at the end of the year. I said that is a commitment, a guarantee. Make me a Constitution that would do away with a long suffering corruption-ridden country and I would be willing to just step out so that you won't be afraind that 'Ah, Duterte wants to be a dictator'," he said.
The 72-year old president said he is old and has been in politics for almost 40 years.
"I never lost an election. God gave everything to me. I will not spoil it," he added.
Duterte has been pushing for a federal form of government. Celerina Monte/DMS