Malacañang: Duterte wants election for federal transition gov't leader

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President Rodrigo Duterte speaks at the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) Celebration in Mindanao at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang, Davao City.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 9) — The Palace on Monday revealed President Rodrigo Duterte wants the leader of the federal transition government be an elected official.

"I instructed Consultative Committee to elect a transitional President. I am willing to cut my term to be co-terminus with the start of transition period. Committee agreed," Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a tweet, quoting the President.

"It's to remove all suspicions and I am tired. Ready to give it to somebody else," he added.

The transition period toward the federal government is set to start on 2019, which will mean Duterte's six-year term would be reduced to just three.

The Consultative Committee tasked to review the 1987 Constitution handed over its draft proposal of the Federal Constitution to Duterte on Monday.

ConCom spokesperson Ding Generoso revealed that Roque told him the President will approve the proposal en toto, or in its totality, "except for request to amend the transitory provision to provide for an elected president during transition."

Generoso said the ConCom will meet on Tuesday to discuss Duterte's instructions.

According to Section 1, Article XXII of the proposed charter, the sitting President will also chair the Federal Transition Commission, which will also include ten other members. The transitory commission must also complete its mandate by June 30, 2022.

Leading beyond 2022

Earlier, Roque said Duterte will agree to lead the federal transition government only if the role will not require him to serve beyond 2022.

"He's willing to serve in the transition capacity in that scenario provided it is only until 2022," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, "He has made a personal decision. It's only until 2022. Earlier, if possible."

Roque added not even calls from the people will change the President's mind.

But Duterte is known for his verbal U-turns. In 2015, he repeatedly declared that he would not run for president, but decided to run at the last minute, taking the place of a party mate who registered for the race.

READ: ConCom: No term extension for Duterte, Robredo

Roque also said Duterte will reject any proposal to have him extend his term beyond 2022.

"Hihingin daw niya sa Kongreso na maglagay ng probisyon na talagang wala nang pag-asang makatkbong muli sa iba pang eleksyon ang presidente," Roque said.

[Translation: He will ask the Congress to add a provision where a sitting president will be barred from running for office again.]

ConCom chair and former Chief Justice Renato Puno Puno earlier said the proposed charter states that the terms of Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo shall end on June 30, 2022.

READ: Duterte seeks term end before shift to federal government

Meanwhile, Roque dismissed former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno's claim that there is nothing in the draft federal charter that cannot be done with the existing 1987 Constitution.

"This is also the first time that they will make it public. So commenting on Chief Justice Sereno, I don't know what she's commenting on because they have not actually officially released their draft to the public," Roque said.

Sereno earlier raised concerns on the proposed charter, based on unofficial copies available online and press briefings of the ConCom.

READ: Ousted chief justice warns against charter change