MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s idea of a revolutionary government had been floated as early as the campaign period, and the people gave its nod to it when they elected him, his allies at the House of Representatives said.
“During the campaign, sinabi na ni Presidente ‘yan. So hindi bago lahat ito [the President said that, so that is not new],” Alvarez said. “Sabi n’ya kung hindi ko magagawa ang pagbabago na gusto kong gawin sa bansa dahil maraming [The President said ‘if I can’t effect the change I want because there are too many] obstacles, then I will exercise that option, revolutionary government,” Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said in a news conference Thursday.
Speaking partly in Filipino, Alvarez said, “[There’s nothing new here. For me, the President has talked about this many times], and on the basis of the results of the elections, nagkaroon siya ng napakalaking mandato, ibig sabihin payag ‘yung mga tao [he earned a huge mandate, meaning, the people approve of it],” he added.
Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas noted that Duterte even said he may abolish Congress, but quickly added, “wala pa naman iyon [that is not yet in the cards, tough].”
Last week, Duterte talked about a revolutionary government anew, saying he would declare one if those opposing his policies went out of control and chaos ruled the streets.
Last month, the President made the same threat amid threats of destabilization posed by the communist groups and the allies of the opposition Liberal Party.
In a separate statement, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman said the Constitution does not justify the declaration of a revolutionary government.
“No amount of destabilization or attempt to unseat the President can validate the establishment of a revolutionary government, now or later, because it is a mongrel which has no constitutional pedigree,” he said.
Magdalo partylist Rep. Gary Alejano said the President’s repeated mention of a revolutionary government, and his latest pronouncement that he was considering tagging the New People’s Army as terrorists could be part of the moves to condition the minds of the public.
“Tagging the NPA as terrorists is a sensitive issue. I may not agree with the NPA attacks, but let’s see the context: we’re talking peace with them and it should be raised as an issue,” he said.
“Are we seeing the President laying down the ground for him to declare a revolutionary government?” Alejano asked aloud.
Meanwhile, protesters gathered along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City on Tuesday evening for a noise barrage against “revgov”.
Musician Jim Paredes was present, as well as members of Akbayan Youth.
In a statement attributed to Tindig Pilipinas and distributed at the event, it was said that Duterte’s “threat” to declare a revolutionary government only served to unmask “the true character of this regime.”
“What… does he do in the light of his failures and crimes? Does he accept criticism, admit his shortcomings, and seek to heal a nation he has divided? No, he blames his critics as destabilizers and moves to consolidate power and get rid of all constraints against his continuing abuse and corruption,” they said.