A REVOLUTIONARY government?
The idea is not only unconstitutional, it is insane. How can you ask a duly-elected president to abandon his office so that he can replace himself? Kissing ass is second nature to many people but this one has really gone overboard.
Happily, President Duterte is not biting. Addressing the nation from Davao City this week, he did not only deny having a hand in the efforts of some of his supporters to form a revolutionary government but also categorically declared that he was not interested in the proposed changes.
Some people will probably not trust the president’s disavowal especially since he himself bruited the idea of establishing a revolutionary government early in his term. But the circumstances were different then. Warning the forces, who he said, were trying to destabilize the government, Duterte threatened that he will not hesitate to declare a revolutionary government if the situation became worse and chaotic.
This was in October 2017, a little over a year after he assumed office. Negotiations with the Reds had collapsed and Duterte was getting frustrated by reports that certain other quarters were out to undermine his administration. The president eventually dismissed the idea, however, although it did not discourage his supporters in Davao and Cebu from continuing to press for RevGov.
The idea of replacing a president before his term ended is not new to us, of course. Similar attempts were made to unseat Erap Estrada, Gloria Arroyo and Noynoy Aquino but it was only Estrada who lost his presidency. The EDSA 3 against Arroyo bombed out and the calls for Aquino’s resignation and replacement by a National Transformation Council similarly failed.
In all the three cases, the demand to step down was made by political enemies except in the case of Aquino where leading members of the clergy were active participants. A meeting of the NTC in Lipa City in February 2015 saw Arroyo’s former Defense Minister Norberto Gonzales, the late Chief Justice Renato Corona, former Sen. Francisco Tatad and Catholic Archbishops Fernando Capalla of Davao and Ramon Arguelles of Lipa among the leaders.
A similar meeting that was subsequently held in Cebu also had Gonzales in attendance. This was the same gathering that generated controversy for the late Ricardo Cardinal Vidal after he was made to read a manifesto asking Aquino to resign.
The NTC was obviously aware that replacing the Aquino government with an interim council violated the Constitution but justified the move because, in the words of Tatad, it has “lost its moral logic.”
No such claim is made by the current proponents of RevGov but they are not shy in saying that the Constitution should be amended to give way to a federal form of government.
So let us amend or even revise the Constitution if we must but why RevGov? And why do we have to overthrow the government headed by President Duterte and replace it with another government also headed by President Duterte? What is the real agenda here?