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No more rev gov’t, says D30

16 November 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte has written off his plan to declare a revolutionary government after he failed to sway the military to support it.

As a consequence, a group calling itself “Mandirigmang Hakbang Tungo Sa Revolutionary Government” cancelled a Nov. 25 rally at the Quezon Memorial Circle that was intended to drum up public support for the plan.

Had the plan pushed through, Duterte would have wielded both executive and legislative powers and converted the country to federal government.

Vice President Leni Robredo set the tone on Nov. 8 when she announced that she had received assurances from the defense establishment headed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, that the military will not support the “rev gov” plan.

After a security briefing held at the Philippine Air Force headquarters at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, Robredo said: “We (were) asking because there are government officials involved in talks about a revolutionary government. But this afternoon, we were assured—and the assurance was strong—that (the military) would not support such a plan.”

Duterte confirmed this the next day when he met with Filipinos residing in Vietnam at the Pulchra Resort in Da Nang City, while attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

He said Robredo was “correct” in saying the military would not support a revolutionary government in the Philippines.

“I asked the military. They said, ‘We won’t support a revolutionary government,” Duterte  said. “‘Why?’ and they said,  ‘Because Vice President Robredo said it … We like her more. She’s a woman and does not cuss.’  I said, ‘OK, then we will not have a revolutionary government.’”

He then stuttered: “Pero tama siya. Ayaw ng… Gusto ng military siya ang… Dapat sundin si Robredo.”

The idea took shape on April 2, when Duterte supporters staged a rally at the Luneta, and signed a petition for the establishment of a revolutionary government.

In a speech in Malacanang four months later, Duterte said: “For the Philippines to really go up, I said: What the people need is not martial law. Go for what Cory did – revolutionary government.”

He added: “You declare all positions of the government vacant and change all. The mistake of Ma’am Aquino was to give it all back to the politicians.”

He raised the pressure on Oct. 13 when he declared in an interview on government TV: “Pag ang destabilization ninyo patagilid na and medyo magulo na (If your destabilization is worsening and it is becoming chaotic), I will not hesitate to declare a revolutionary government until the end of my term, and I will arrest all of you and we can go to a full scale war against the Reds.”

This was answered by opposition group Tindig Pilipinas, which said: “President Duterte is losing his grip. Only a paranoid and insecure little man afraid of losing power will rationalize the need to impose a revolutionary government upon the people.”

It added: “The paranoia is evident. It is manifested in the slide in the surveys, from the increasing numbers of the various forms of protests, from the massive pushback on social media and from the President’s increasingly irrational, indefensible and incoherent stance.”

“Like any abuser sensing that his victims are seeing him as the abuser that he is, he senses doom. He knows he is an empty can once he loses control,” the statement said.

Subsequent efforts to raise public support for a revolutionary government have failed.

The latest rally organized by pro-Duterte groups at the Quezon Memorial Circle  in early November fizzled out when less than 50 people showed up.

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