MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday the proposal for a revolutionary government by President Rodrigo Duterte's supporters was "illegal" as it calls to "overthrow" the Constitution.
On Saturday, a group called the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC) launched the movement urging the public to join them in declaring a revolutionary government and shift to federalism.
Robredo said such proposals by Duterte's supporters should not be entertained as it veers away government's focus from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Bakit hinahayaan iyong mga ganitong exercise na mangyari, na mangyari at a time like this? Iyong sa akin lang, parang ang gusto mo ma-overthrow iyong Konstitusyon, na iyon iyong sandigan nating lahat," she said in her weekly radio program.
(Why do they let these kind of exercises happen at a time like this? It's like they are letting them overthrow the Constitution.)
"Sana iyong mga kasama ni Pangulo, hindi hinahayaan na bumuwelo ang mga ganito. Kasi ito talaga iyong panira, sa lahat na ginagawa natin, lalo na ngayong pandemic. Iyong lahat na efforts natin, dapat nasa COVID-19, pero ang pinag-uusapan natin Anti-Terror Bill, pagpasara ng ABS[-CBN], ‘di ba, pag-amend ng Constitution, pagdeklara ng RevGov, federalism."
(I hope the President's advisers won't let this gain traction because this will ruin our efforts against the pandemic. Our focus should be on the virus but we're talking about the Anti-Terror Law, ABS-CBN's closure, Constitutional amendment, declaration of RevGov, federalism.)
Robredo said such proposals do not help in the country's fight against the pandemic and only fuels rumors such as complications on the President's health.
"Hindi siya nakakatulong kasi ito, iyong panahon na tayo lahat naghahanap tayo ng leader. Ito iyong panahon na tayo lahat, ‘di ba, gusto natin naririnig natin iyong lider natin na nagbibigay sa atin ng direksyon," she said.
(It doesn't help because this is the time we are looking for a leader who will give us direction.)
The Vice President urged authorities to stop the movement as Malacañang said the group was "free to publicly express their opinion."
The Department of National Defense and the Philippine National Police said they do not support the movement.
"Sa panahon na lahat na Pilipino dapat nagtutulong-tulong para masugpo iyong COVID—ang dami-dami nating mga kababayan na nagkakasakit, ang dami-dami nating kababayan na namamatay, ang daming frontliners ang nakataya ang buhay—tapos ang pag-uusapan natin ganito? Parang hindi siya makatarungan," Robredo said.
(At a time when Filipinos should help each other fight COVID-19--many of our countrymen are falling ill, dying, the lives of frontliners are on the line--then we talk about this? It doesn't do them justice.)
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the administration's focus is on addressing the pandemic and mitigating its socioeconomic impact.
"The most pressing and most urgent concern, which requires the Executive's full attention, is the gradual opening of the economy while safeguarding the people who are working/going back to work amid the pandemic," he said in a statement.
The proposal has earned public ire, with some lawmakers saying there was no need for such movement.
The Philippines as of Saturday reported 187,249 COVID-19 cases, with 114,921 recoveries and 2,966 deaths.