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Revolutionary gov’t pushed

/ 07:19 AM September 08, 2018

BUTUAN CITY—The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is leading a campaign to shift to federalism through a revolutionary government that would upend the entire system of government, create what proponents said was a “People’s Council” and keep President Duterte in power until a new form of government was already in place.

At least 300 people, wearing red and calling their group Mula sa Masa Duterte Movement (MMDM), gathered here on Friday from five provinces in the Caraga region calling on Mr. Duterte to declare a revolutionary government.

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Local Government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, main guest at the gathering, told the people that the DILG had been leading calls for a revolutionary government to be in place during the transition to a federal system.

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Densing said that since electing delegates to a constitutional convention, which would draft a new federal constitution, was no longer possible because of the midterm elections next year, the DILG would vigorously pursue the declaration of a revolutionary government in the remaining two years of the Duterte administration.

“That’s what we’ve been pushing since last year,” Densing told the Inquirer in an interview during the event.

“What we are pushing now is the same concept as people’s government because we think that federalism will not happen if people will not intervene,” Densing said.

“People are allowed in the Constitution to push for a revolutionary government if they think that the existing government no longer serves their interest,” he added.

He said the 1987 Constitution would be eventually “abrogated” if people saw that it no longer served their interests.

Democratic RevGov?

The crowd wore red shirts with the words “Federalism Now! thru RevGov in a democratic way!” as they assembled at the Capitol Gym in this city.

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Their leaders said they came to organize councils to stamp out corruption at all levels of the government and gather popular support for a revolutionary government led by Mr. Duterte.

Emmanuel Dadulla, MMDM national president, said his group had been asking the President to declare a revolutionary government as the fastest way for the country to shift to federalism.

“President Duterte should use the sovereign will of the people to declare a revolutionary government to rightfully change the system of our government,” Dadulla said.

“This is a vehicle of transition that will suspend and remove all the stumbling blocks of the new system of governance,” he said.

Leonardo Vistal, Caraga MMDM president, said the group would recruit at least 20 members from every village to form part of People’s Council for Change.

Densing said the People’s Council would serve as advisory board for Mr. Duterte and would also be tasked with checking against abuse of power.

Executive order

 

“The first thing he has to do is sign a provisional Constitution embodying the Bill of Rights and then issue an executive order creating a constitutional commission,” Densing said.

He also said Mr. Duterte would have to dissolve Congress and declare all elected government positions from Vice President down to village levels vacant so that the people could recommend a new set of officials.

“In the proposed RevGov, we want to suspend the 1987 Constitution,” Densing said.

People Power?

“People will push for people’s government, they will push President Duterte to do People Power so that he would serve as President during the revolutionary period,” he said.

“Once he is there, he will accept the revolutionary power and the first thing he should do is sign a provisional Constitution with the Bill of Rights then issue an executive order to organize a constitutional commission to set up the federal Constitution of the Philippines,” Densing said.

Densing, former assistant secretary who assumed his current post in May, said it was part of the DILG’s mandate to encourage people’s participation down to the grassroots level.

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