Palace stresses Duterte doesn’t want ‘rev-gov’

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 30 2017 12:09 PM

MANILA – Malacañang has stressed that President Rodrigo Duterte does not want to set up a revolutionary government, as it called on his supporters calling for such to conduct their Thursday rallies in a peaceful manner.

Various pro-Duterte groups around the country, including in the President’s home city of Davao, are holding rallies to call on the setting up of a revolutionary government, as the country celebrates the 154th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government “would not prevent citizens from expressing their support for a revolutionary government,” but he stressed the President himself has already rejected the idea.

“The Chief Executive in numerous occasions articulated that he allows protests and other forms of mass action as long as public safety and convenience are not compromised,” Roque said.

“Police will observe maximum tolerance and exercise highest restraint.”

Roque earlier said there was no “factual or legal” basis to set up a revolutionary government in the Philippines which shall entail the scrapping of the Constitution and the declaration of government posts as vacant.

While the President has already dismissed the idea of setting up a revolutionary government, in recent days he said he wants an overhaul of the Constitution that has strong anti-corruption provisions.

To allay fears he would use the charter change to extend his stay in office, he assured the public he will step down once the revision of his desired version of the charter is fulfilled.

Cause-oriented group Tindig Pilipinas, which counts prominent political opposition figures as its members, is not convinced that Duterte has indeed abandoned the idea of setting up a revolutionary government.

“Let us not be fooled by President Duterte and his administration’s capacity to hem and haw or be deceived by their seeming reluctance to declare a revolutionary government,” Tindig Pilipinas said in a statement.

“Their plans subvert our Constitution, upend our laws and rend our social fabric are serious and real. The threat is imminent.”

The group added that the “promise of a golden age brought by revolutionary government is a myth.”

“Our country was once fooled by President Marcos and his promise of a New Society. In the end, we became a beggar state and the doormat of Asia. That is why we say Never Again.”

“If Duterte has been unable to wield the tremendous powers of the Presidency to bring about the reforms he has promised under a democracy, he is at best incompetent, at worse, traitorous or both. He cannot be given more powers when he has proven himself capable only of using those powers to benefit himself and his friends.”