Malacañang shies away from supporters’ push for revolutionary government
Marje Pelayo • August 24, 2020 • 239
MANILA, Philippines — A group of Duterte supporters has caused a buzz on social media for urging the establishment of a revolutionary government.
The group, Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte – National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC), is pushing for the declaration of a revolutionary government to be led by the president up to the end of his term.
The said group was among those who encouraged then Mayor Duterte to run for president during the 2016 elections.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during Monday’s press briefing that a revolutionary government is not needed at this time and that the Duterte administration’s priority is mitigating the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19.
“Ang presidente po natin ay pinuno ng isang constitutional government at di natin kinakailangan ang revolutionary government sa ngayon (Our president is a leader of a constitutional government and we do not need a revolutionary government at this time),”said Roque.
As for calls to file charges of inciting sedition against the revolutionary government advocates, the Palace said their actions do not exhibit clear and present danger and that they are entitled to express their ideas.
Roque also clarified that Duterte is not abandoning his bid for charter change and shift to federalism, but establishing a revolutionary government is not among his “constitutional options.”
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have expressed unwillingness to support any initiative to establish a revolutionary government.
In a statement, PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac said the entire police force maintains allegiance to the Constitution.
“The PNP remains true and loyal to the Constitution. We will continue to uphold it and obey legal orders from the duly constituted authorities,” he said.
PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa, meanwhile, said that though he received a text message from MRRD-NECC on August 20 inviting him to a meeting to discuss the matter, he did not receive any physical copy of the invitation.
AFP Spokesperson MGen. Edgard Arevalo, likewise, expressed the same.
“It’s very clear to every soldier, airman, sailor, and marine that our unequivocal fidelity and unwavering loyalty is to the Constitution and to the flag that represents our people and the state,” he said in a statement.
Reacting to the issue, Vice President Leni Robredo criticized the idea as ill-timed, given that the country is facing a pandemic.
Political analyst Edna Co of the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration, said the matter is “another uncalled for distraction from our collective efforts to deal and manage the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.”
“Hindi karapat-dapat bigyan ng pansin. Hindi ito ang kailangan ng bayan, (This doesn’t merit our attention. The country doesn’t need this), she said referring to MRRD-NECC’s proposal. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is prepared to adhere to the rule of law should a revolutionary government be declared in the country.
According to PNP Pcol. Bernard Banac, it is the mandate of the national police to maintain peace and order in the country.
“Sineseryoso ng PNP ang lahat ng banta sa seguridad, at peace and order, base sa aming mandato (Based on our mandate, the PNP is taking all threats seriously, and [maintaining] peace and order). The PNP shall always stand behind the flag and uphold the Constitution. We adhere to the rule of law and obey legal orders of the duly constituted authorities,” he said.
Meanwhile, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the President’s threat about forming a revolutionary government is due to his frustration on what is happening in the country.
“What I know though, is that he is getting exasperated by and frustrated with endless roadblocks to his attempts to protect the people’s interests,” he said in a text message.
He added that the President knows the limitations of his authority.
“As a lawyer the president knows the scope and limitations of his constitutional powers and he will act in accordance therewith,” he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo also said that the President’s statement on forming a revolutionary government is out of frustration in all of the country’s problems including illegal drugs, corruption, and rebellion of communist groups.
Malacañang also clarified that the President’s warning in declaring a revolutionary government is not against the public but against the government’s enemies.
“It was more of an exasperated expression and I to put on notice against the transgressors that he will not just sit idly, and watch them do their illegal things,” Panelo said.
Meanwhile, the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) President Edre Olalia said the President’s warning has no legal basis and does not follow logic.
“First of all, there is absolutely no legal, constitutional, & factual basis to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Secondly, his reaction to the cautionary criticism of the opposition is non-sequitur,” he said.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Various groups of supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte submitted to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) a signed petition seeking for the creation of a revolutionary government.
Over 33 million signatures from 42,000 barangays across the Philippines were attached to the petition. It calls on the government to expedite the approval of proposed amendments to the Constitution.
“Kung baguhin ang takbo Pilipinas siguro isa itong tulong na para maisolba ang lahat ng problema ng ating bayan,” said Princess Maricar Matalam, officer of the group Pagbabago at Karapatan ng Womens Power Mindanao.
(Changing the way how the Philippines is run may help resolve all the problems that it is currently facing.)
DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño said the signature campaign showed strong support for Congress as it pushes for a proposed shift to federalism.
“Puwede na nating maipadala ito sa Congress para iyong ating mga congressman at senador makita nila na talagang gusto ng mga tao lalong lalo na sa buong Pilipinas na federalism na pagbabago ng sistema ng ating gobyerno, napaka importante nito,” Diño concluded.
(We may now send this to Congress so that the congressmen and senators will see the people’s desire to shift to a federal form of government.) – UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said there is nothing to worry about a declaration of a revolutionary form of government because it is President Rodrigo Duterte himself who has been dismissing the issue.
“There is no revolutionary government. Let us now end the talks about revolutionary government. Let’s now move on. To the opposition, look for other issues,” said Sec. Roque.
This was in response to the Vice President Leni Robredo’s sentiments regarding reports that some government officials are involved in organizing protests to call for the president to declare a revolutionary government.
The vice president said persons involved in such movement can be held legally liable.
“Nakakabahala ito, kasi… kapag sinabi kasing revolutionary government, gusto mong isantabi iyong Konstitusyon. Ito, ano ito, laban ito sa mga existing na batas, kaya nakakabahala na. Iyong tanong nito, iyong mga sasali ba dito may be held legally—‘di ba?—may be held liable? Kasi iyong pag-alsa laban sa Konstitusyon, pag-alsa iyon laban sa pamahalaan,”said the vice president.
(This is alarming because when you say revolutionary government, you want to set aside the Constitution. This is against the existing laws, so it is really alarming. Those who participate may be held legally—may be held liable, right? Because it can be regarded as rebelling against the constitution and the government.)
She also argued that it seemed ironic to see public officials moving against the government they represent.
Nevertheless, Robredo trusts President Duterte’s word that he will not declare a revolutionary government because he doesn’t want it in the first place.
Duterte, however, said it is only possible if the welfare of the state and the people are in jeopardy.
“We need a radical change. I have to…we need a radical change in government. We need not go into a revolutionary government. I do not want it. Only when everything is turning upside down, maybe,” said Duterte.
Thus, Roque said that the controversies surrounding the issue should not be entertained. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue
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