MANILA - The renewed call for a revolutionary government as the Philippines battles the COVID-19 pandemic is "very untimely," a government official who previously pushed for the proposal said Tuesday.
Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing said the agency's constitutional reform (CORE) group that is also pushing for amendments to the constitution and a shift to federalism was not involved with a group of President Rodrigo Duterte's supporters calling for a revolutionary government.
In 2018, Densing had denied organizing an event in Butuan City that called for a revolutionary government.
Densing, however, said he pushed for the movement in November 2017.
"It was the 1 million rally all over the Philippines. Since the President has not accepted to lead a revolutionary government, that stopped everything. The call for 'revgov' at this point in time is very untimely. All of us in government are focusing our attention in containing COVID-19 virus," he told ANC.
Densing said the proposal was "impractical" and "won't happen in the next few months," noting that there will be new national and local elections in May 2022.
"In my perspective, they do not have the mass support, not to mention, it will be just 2 years and there will be an election.
And the Filipino people will rather have an election rather than a revgov," he said.
Densing said he pushed for a revolutionary government in the past "as a transition towards federalism."
"The main reason was really using the method towards federalism. We feel that, until today, federalism is the main system of government that will resolve, at least for the next few years, the poverty in our country," he said.
"At the time, the opinion was to give it to Congress to amend the Constitution, push for a federal system of government. It won’t happen because our legislators have already been benefiting from the present Constitution. Why would they change something they benefit from? The only way to do that is to do a people’s initiative."
Establishing a revolutionary government is not unconstitutional, Densing added.
"The supreme power is in the Filipino people. All the constitutions in the world have an innate provision that the people have the right to revolt especially if the government can no longer serve their interest," he said.
"At the end of the day, it’s still within the bounds of the law, it’s just a people-centered initiative."
The call for a revolutionary government has received backlash from various sectors, with lawmakers saying there was no need for such
Malacañang has said it would focus on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic but maintained the group calling for a rev-gov was "free to publicly express their opinion."