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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Duterte minions propose self-coup in the guise of a revolutionary government.

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josef san jose
an ordinary man trying to do extraordinary things

The People’s National Coalition for Revolutionary Government and Charter Change, a group of supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte, convened last weekend at Clark Freeport in Pampanga calling for an overthrow of the constitutionally ordained government to form a “revolutionary government”. It is suspect that they are planning such scheme at a time when the President’s ability to lead is being questioned and his health is subject of political gossip for days now.

Invitations were sent to the security forces establishment. PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa first confirmed to the media the invitation from the group. Sec. Delfin Lorenzana has also confirmed that his office received the same invitation from Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte – National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC), an organization that urged Duterte to run for president in the 2016 polls.

The group urged Filipinos to join them “in the establishment of a revolutionary government and adopt a new constitution” to be led by Duterte himself. They’re proposing a revolution that gives more political power to those who are already in power. This gives new meaning to the word revolution. Supposedly the revolutionary government would only last until June 30, 2022, the last day in office of President Duterte. But can we trust politicians not to be lured by the trappings of power? Marcos, remember?

As early as 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte has already floated the idea of declaring a revolutionary government. Last year, Speaking at a gathering of lawyers, the Annual Convention of the Prosecutor’s League of the Philippines, he again made the same threat of declaring a revolutionary government on concerns of destabilization plot by the legitimate opposition and communist insurgents. But such action may even play into the communist’s hands. The communist rebels have long sought to provoke the government to reveal its true “fascist” character and thus legitimize armed struggle.

If we are going to be honest and stop being hypocrites about it, what these Duterte minions are proposing is a self-coup (or autocoup). It is a form of putsch or coup d’état in which a nation’s leader, despite having come to power through legal means, dissolves or renders powerless the state institutions like the legislature and the courts thereby unlawfully assuming extraordinary powers, not granted under normal circumstances. Other measures taken may include annulling the nation’s constitution giving the head of government dictatorial powers.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines thru its President Domingo Cayosa opined that “there is no legal, factual, practical, or moral basis for a revolutionary government under the present circumstances.” The IBP observation is spot on but we must always be wary of this administration legal maneuverings to advance what they want. A classic example is how they stretched legal theories in CJ Sereno’s removal and the drug cases filed against Sen. de Lima.

Constitutional and legal experts have also warned the President not to consider the idea of a revolutionary government. “Once President Duterte declares a revolutionary government, he ceases to be President having divested himself of the presidency,” says Romy Macalintal, a veteran election lawyer “since declaring a revolutionary government would mean that President Duterte becomes the leader of a revolutionary government while Robredo becomes the leader as president of a duly constituted government.”

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said that the call for a revolutionary government from a group supporting President Rodrigo Duterte should not be entertained. I disagree. All of the 300 who has signed the manifesto calling for a revolutionary government is subversive. I say its time we use the full force of the law against these wannabe power-grabbers who wish to destabilize the constitutional order and overthrow the government for their own gain and profit.

The Palace distanced itself from the group’s calls for a revolutionary government, saying that, while the group is free to express its opinions, the administration is focused on addressing the pandemic. I surely hope Harry Roque is as avid of defending the right to free speech and expression of anyone and not just the overtures of administration supporters that only advance the interest of the current occupants of Malacañan. He should also advise Sen. Bong Go the same, better if he could give the Senator cum presidential assistant a one on one lecture on the bill of rights so he would stop bothering the NBI [PxxxT], which should focus on more pressing law-enforcing matters, which is harassing ordinary citizens in expressing their rights to protest the incompetence and corruption of this administration.

The right time to stop this kind of initiative is now, and the apologists in the Palace must not defend it under the guise of freedom of speech. They must be the first, as bearers of constitutionalism, to thwart these proposals to which Sen. Nancy Binay aptly said “Hindi nakakaflatten ng curve ang revgov.”

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