PICC Grounds, CCP Complex, Pasay City
March 12, 2017

“Ito ang tandaan ninyo, we have to change the system… for the longest time it has wrought injustice to the Filipino people,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as he pushed the administration’s agenda of having a federal system of government during the 35th Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) Laban Anniversary at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) grounds, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex in Pasay City.

The President explained that a successful federal government allows power and authority to be transferred from a few leaders to many for the benefit of the people. He continued by discussing how peace could be achieved in Mindanao by giving them more autonomy through federalism.

“Magkadiperensiya tayo sa lahat ng bagay, huwag lang sa public interest,” urged President Duterte to opposing political figures.

He also reiterated that if any of his Cabinet members become guilty of corruption, he would resign.

As part of the administration’s campaign against red tape in the government, the President said that directors of government offices have 15 days to either approve or disapprove documents and that their offices must complete the whole certification process within a month.

He also spoke about his planned visit to Myanmar and Thailand to discuss the needs of their countries for the Philippine hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits in 2017.

President Duterte ended his speech by addressing the Filipino people, “I’m making a plea. Sino ang gustong magbago ang itong bayan? Tulungan ninyo ako…”

The President was accompanied in the event by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ismael Sueno, and Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi, among other attendees.

The PDP Laban anniversary celebration was a one-day event that included a fun-run, Zumba, an information center of job opportunities, medical and dental missions, free legal services, and the launching of the mobile ‘Duterte’s Kitchen’ to give free food to the needy. With the theme, ‘No to Drugs, Yes to Federalism,’ the event also aimed to build support for the national government in its war against illegal drugs and its push for a federal system of government.