Raps eyed vs ‘rev gov’ proponents | Inquirer News

Raps eyed vs ‘rev gov’ proponents

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 04:39 AM August 24, 2020

Sen. Joel Villanueva (Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — A day after a group of Duterte supporters urged the public to join a coalition for a revolutionary government and charter change, critics and supporters of the President blasted the idea as illegal with Sen. Joel Villanueva urging the government to criminally charge the proponents.

A supporter of the administration, Villanueva said those behind the proposal, led by the members of the People’s National Coalition for Revolutionary Government and Charter Change, should be indicted for inciting to sedition.


“This call for a revolutionary government is dangerous and amounts to inciting to sedition under the Revised Penal Code,” Villanueva said, referring to Article 142 of the code. “This is an illegal act and the government should ensure that the perpetrators are charged.”


Senate President Vicente Sotto III, another supporter of the administration, likewise rejected the call and said the idea would turn the country into “a rudderless ship … launched without a compass nor an agreed destination.”

“Being extraconstitutional, it is not a simple mistake, but an uncorrectable blunder. Administration enemies will win, both internal and external,” Sotto said in a Viber message.

Even Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also rejected the idea and said the group’s call would not get any support from the defense establishment.

“We have a legally constituted government. The President is an elected president and enjoys popular support. Why should there be a need for a revolutionary government?” Lorenzana said in a message to reporters.

Malacañang itself distanced itself from calls and assured the public that President Duterte’s administration will remain a “constitutional government.”

“His is a constitutional government,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque. “The call to establish a revolutionary government came from a private group and the organizers are free to publicly express their opinion.”


“The focus, however, of the administration is addressing COVID-19 (new coronavirus disease) and mitigating its socioeconomic impact,” he added.

Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo was “titillated” to discuss the idea but also distanced himself from the call and said that while it might be a workable concept, the proposal was made too late in the day.

The group that made the call at a gathering in Clark Freeport consisted of about 300 people, led by Duterte supporters Bobby Brillante and Arlene Buan, who wanted to give President Duterte special powers that would supposedly allow him to junk the 1987 Constitution and constitute a form of government they desire.

At best, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines said, the call to establish a revolutionary government can be dismissed as an exercise of freedom of expression, “but it should be allowed to progress into actions that violate existing laws.”

“A revolutionary government is repugnant to constitutionalism,” said Domingo Cayosa, the president of the country’s mandatory bar association. “It should be discouraged and denounced, as we do now. There is no legal, factual, practical or moral basis for a revolutionary government under the present circumstances.”

The Philippine National Police, for its part, reminded the group to abide by the Constitution and Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, the PNP spokesperson, said the police would monitor the group in case they commit something illegal.

“We remain loyal to the Constitution and we only abide by existing laws and lawful authorities … So any call to action that would overthrow or undermine the government, we will not support because it violates the Constitution,” Banac said in an interview on Sunday.

But Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said that the idea of a revolutionary government was “just another ploy in the arsenal of schemes” of the pro-Duterte camp to perpetuate themselves in power.

“The people should vigorously oppose this antidemocratic initiative, especially since clearly its main objective is the mere perpetuation in power of the incompetent and tyrannical rule of the present administration,” Zarate said.

Vice President Leni Robredo also denounced the call for a “revolutionary government” and urged the administration not to allow these kinds of activities, because they disrupt the focus and efforts on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What they are asking is for the junking of our Constitution. On that point alone, that is already illegal,” she said in her weekly radio show. “So why do they let an exercise like this happen, especially at a time like this?”

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With reports from DJ Yap, Julie M. Aurelio, Jeannette I. Andrade and Jhesset O. Enano

TAGS: Delfin Lorenzana

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