Roque on proposal for a revolutionary gov’t: No support from Palace

Monday, August 24th, 2020. Filed under: News Philippine News

MANILA, Aug 24 (Mabuhay) — Malacañang on Monday said it does not support calls for the establishment of a revolutionary government being pushed by the supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte amid the COVID-19 crisis.

In a televised briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque maintained that the government is focused on the job of bringing the pandemic under control. He also said Duterte wants to finish his term and relinquish power after the election of his successor in 2022.

“It does not enjoy any support po from government right now. It is a private initiative but the private individuals can express freely their views as part of freedom of speech,” Roque said.

“Sa ngayon po, wala pong magiging silbi ang revolutionary government. Tuluy-tuloy lang po tayo na ginagawa ang ating mga tungkulin.”

Asked if the proponents will be held liable for their support for a revolutionary government, Roque said there is no “clear and present danger” arising from such a call.

“Kinakailangan meron pong clear and present danger para masupil po ‘yang ganyang pananalita. Wala naman pong clear and present danger dahil ang Presidente mismo ay constitutional government at tutok po siya ngayon sa COVID-19,” Roque said.

Several quarters have reacted strongly against the revolutionary government proposal of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte – National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC) with opposition lawmakers raising concerns that such a move was meant for Duterte to consolidate power.

“That’s the farthest from the mind of the President and I can assure you that,” Roque said on whether Duterte will stay in office beyond 2022.

Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, spokesperson for the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), said they were not consulted by the MRRD-NECC regarding the proposal, which he called “ill-timed” given that the country is currently facing a public health crisis.

Malaya also said while the DILG supports amending the 1987 Constitution, it should still be “within the parameters of the Constitution itself.”

Amendments to the Constitution could be done through any of the following: constituent assembly, constitutional convention and people’s initiative.

In 2017, Duterte threatened to declare a revolutionary government in case “destabilization” moves by his critics, particularly the Left, continue and start slipping into chaos.

In April 2019, the President threatened to declare a revolutionary war, during which he would have his critics arrested, if he was “pushed to the wall.”

Duterte has been pushing for constitutional change through the adoption of a federal system of government, arguing it will address economic and power imbalances in the country.   (MNS)

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