June 21, 2024

There is a group that is advocating for the establishment of a revolutionary government. In its proposed setup, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will be the chief executive of the revolutionary government. While he will remain to be the President of the Republic, there will be major changes in his constitutionally mandated term and in his function as such. If the revolutionary government will materialize, he will hold office beyond 2022 and will be allowed extraordinary powers like the power to legislate. Do we really want this kind of scenario?
For once, I agree with Sen. Riza Hontiveros that at this point, a revolutionary government is more destructive than constructive. I concur it will only catapult a dictator, especially if the one being nominated to lead has the propensity to be one. The country has had enough bad memories about a dictatorial government. To have another, even if only in thought, will be a catastrophe. Why so?
Father Joaquin Bernas, the ultimate constitutionalist, said a revolutionary government partakes of two concepts.
The first is that which “gets possession and control of, or usurps, by force or by the voice of the majority, the rightful legal government and maintains itself against the will of the latter.
The second is that which is “established and maintained by military force who invades and occupies a territory of the enemy in the course of war, and which is denominated a government of paramount force.”
In either case, the evolution of a revolutionary government will disturb the status quo. It entails the need to change the structure of the government in order to accommodate the powers and duties that are conferred to the revolutionary leader. It will deny the executive, legislative, and judicial departments of their constitutionally mandated functions. If we prefer to believe in the need to change the system of our government by embracing a revolutionary one, we are courting disaster. There are no limits to what a revolutionary government can do. It is not bound by any Constitution but only by the rules of the revolution that it contemplates to promote.
The group advocating the establishment of a revolutionary government has the primary aim of finding an easy solution to amend the Constitution to attune it to the changes and the realities that confront the country. While most agree that there is a need to amend the 1987 Constitution and, to a certain extent, the form of government from presidential to parliamentary, the creation of a revolutionary government is not the answer. There are already established laws and procedures on how to go about amending the Constitution. All that is needed is a little imagination and the willingness to comply with what is already there.
It is further asserted there is nothing wrong with the establishment of a revolutionary government because the current President will be the same leader who will ascend the presidency of the revolutionary government. Contrary to this, everything is wrong in a revolutionary government regardless of who the leader is. Just by the word “revolution,” it connotes something radical. We can’t afford the radical because our society, with all its deficits and pitfalls, is working well. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
We have elected our President in a fair and honest election. He swore to hold office for one fixed term of six years. He took his vow to obey the laws and the Constitution.
To this date, he remains very popular. It does not mean, though, that he is indispensable. There will be others who are younger and more competent than him. He himself confessed that he has had enough of the presidency. Then, with a stroke of a revolutionary government, they want to tempt him to stay on longer? To be President for life? Don’t they see the danger that they are putting the country into?
Thank God the President and other prominent officers disavowed any knowledge of the movement to put up a revolutionary government. The least we can do at this time is a movement that stirs our political anxiety and conjures images of uncertainty about the future.