President Duterte presided over the oath taking of new PDP-Laban members during the administration party’s 35th anniversary held at the PICC grounds in Pasay City on Sunday.
The President, who is chairman of the party, praised the PDP-Laban lawmakers for their support for his legislative agenda on the war against illegal drugs and the shift in the form of government from a presidential to a federal system.
Duterte told party members a federal system of government is needed to achieve lasting peace in the country.
“We have to change the system. For the longest time, it has brought injustice to our people,” Duterte said, adding that he is willing to step down from his post if a federal system of government is adopted.
The President said he noticed during the campaign that no lawmaker was talking about problems in Mindanao, which strengthened his belief that a federal system of government is necessary.
“We can bring peace to Mindanao with federalism,” Duterte said.
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Among those who took their oath were Cabinet members, congressmen, governors and mayors.
Party president Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III reported to Duterte that PDP-Laban is leading the campaign for federalism, which is one of the ideologies being advocated by the party.
“We will be holding a summit on federalism to come out with a mode of federal government for the country,” Pimentel said.
He said that the party is now mobilizing its political machinery nationwide in preparation for the 2019 midterm elections.
Pimentel said PDP-Laban would be fielding a complete slate of candidates from senators to mayors nationwide.
He also reminded those who want to join the party that PDP-Laban would no longer be accepting new members.
“We will be shutting our doors once the PDP train will start moving,” he said.
Benito Ranque, PDP-Laban founding member, said the party founded by former senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. in 1982 has finally attained its political objective in having a President, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“This is the ultimate objective of the party, to take the lead in promoting and supporting the advocacy of President Duterte against illegal drugs and federalism,” Ranque said.
He said this year the theme of the party’s anniversary is “No to Drugs, Yes to Federalism.”
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