AMID fears of looming autocrat rule under his watch, President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, February 7, admitted to imposing a "dictatorial" style of governance for the country's development.
Speaking before former communist rebels who were on an all-expense-paid trip to Metro Manila, Duterte said he prefers to act like a "dictator" to be able to sustain the country's progress.
"If you say dictator, I am really a dictator. If I don't act (like a) dictator, son of a b****, nothing will happen to this country," the President said in Visayan.
"That's true. If I don't act (like a) dictator, which is my style now, nothing will happen to this country," he added.
Duterte's remark came amid his plan to revise the 1987 Constitution to change the country's form of government from unitary type to a federal structure.
Anti-Duterte groups have feared that the President's proposed federal state might pave the way for his supposed intent to become a dictator.
They have also slammed the one-year martial law extension in Mindanao and floated the possibility that Duterte might eventually extend the declaration to Luzon and Vosayas.
Duterte has repeatedly denied that he is eyeing a dictatorship and even stressed that he is willing to step down, if federalism pushes through.
Duterte said he was merely fulfilling his pledge to improve the lives of Filipino people.
"I had to (act like a dictator). Besides, you have chosen me as your president. Why won't you follow me when my dreams are all for you?" he added. (SunStar Philippines)