‘Robredo to become President if Duterte declares revolutionary gov’t’
TAGBILARAN CITY, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo will take over as new president of the republic, should President Rodrigo Duterte declare a revolutionary government.
Veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said this Friday as he explained the leadership hierarchy that must be followed in such an event as mandated under the 1987 Constitution. Macalintal is Robredo’s counsel in an ongoing election protest against the Vice President.
Macalintal’s statement came a day after Duterte threatened to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, declare a revolutionary war and government, and arrest his critics following statements of caution by opposition lawmakers on his order to review all government contracts and loans with private firms and foreign countries.
According to Macalintal, a senatorial candidate under the opposition Otso Diretso team, once Duterte proclaims a revolutionary government, he “ceases to be President having divested himself of the Presidency.”
“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,” he added.
Macalintal, however, pointed out that suspending the privilege of a writ of habeas corpus and declaring a revolutionary government are two “inconsistent” acts.
“If President Duterte suspends such privilege, then he is still adhering to the provisions of our constitution, which is inconsistent with his revolutionary government, which has no charter at all,” he said.
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, meanwhile, said Duterte’s threat is tantamount to betrayal of the 1987 Constitution.
“Tinatraydor niya mismo ang ating Saligang Batas, tinatraydor niya ang taumbayan,” Diokno said in an interview in Bohol.
“‘Wag naman siyang masyadong pikon at mainit ang ulo, Chel lang siya,” he added in jest.
Diokno also reminded Duterte that no one is above the law.
“Wala naman above the law sa ating bayan. So we are ready to face whatever it is he wants to do,” he said.
Opposition senatorial candidates Macalintal, Diokno, Samira Gutoc, and Gary Alejano were campaigning in Bohol on Friday. They were also at Robredo’s “Ahon Laylayan” coalition launch in Poblacion 2, Tagbilaran City, as of this posting. /kga
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