Presidential spokesman Harry Roque on Monday said that there was no “factual or legal basis” for President Rodrigo Duterte to declare a revolutionary government as the administration saw no impending threats that would prompt the President to do so.
“We appreciate the calls of the President’s supporters for a revolutionary government. But I think there’s no factual or legal basis as of now because the President has said that he will consider a revolutionary government if destabilizers will persist in their plan to have him removed from office,” Roque said at a press briefing.
The Spokesperson said that Duterte still enjoys the support of a majority of Filipinos, according to recent surveys.
“Now, I stress, we don’t see any threat, any such threat in the near future. The President enjoys 80 percent approval rating; he was duly elected; he had a margin of five million votes from the second highest candidate,” he said.
“He is de jure. He is constitutional. He enjoys tremendous public support and the support of Congress. So we see no reason to declare a revolutionary government,” he added.
A Catholic prelate, however, warned that discussions of a revolutionary government might be alarming for the public since it would be unconstitutional.
“The revolutionary government is disturbing. The government officials have been elected to promote the Constitution, to protect the Constitution. A revolutionary government is outside the Constitution… So if they opt for a revolutionary government, it is unconstitutional,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Laity (ECL) pointed out.
“It is against the law, therefore, they go beyond their mandate. Therefore it is immoral, we have no obligation to follow them,” Pabillo said. “Everybody including the military should not follow them because we have to protect the Constitution. This is extra-constitutional, therefore, it is wrong.”
The bishop stressed that having an opposition “is part of the check and balance of a democracy” that a leader should welcome.
“There should be an opposition. If he can’t live with that, he is not fit to rule,” Pabillo said.
Duterte earlier threatened to declare a revolutionary government if his opponents would try to topple him from power.
“If things go out of control and [the] government is weakened—that is my predicate,” Duterte reiterated.
“If my country is weakened and I see revolutionaries bringing firearms on the streets, well, maybe you shouldn’t have second thoughts, I will declare a revolutionary government,” he said.