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Philippines
Thursday, July 25, 2024

Reverence for the law, not for any one person

"The proposal to establish a revolutionary government is plain absurd."

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The exuberance of President Rodrigo Duterte’s rabid supporters does nothing to calm a population already anxious and rudderless amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

We learned with much consternation that some 300 individuals had converged at the Clark Freeport in Pampanga on Saturday to express their support of a revolutionary government. The event was organized by the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte—National Executive Coordinating Committee.

The group’s spokesperson said the MRRD-NECC was “an aggrupation of civil society, non-government, political, patriotic organizations and freedom loving citizens all over the country.”

These “freedom-loving” citizens want President Duterte to “head the said revolutionary government under a revolutionary constitution to last until Dec. 31, 2021, after which elections shall be held under the newly amended constitution… in a federal form of government.”

The chief of the Philippine National Police, General Archie Gamboa, admitted to receiving an invitation from the group that wants to overthrow the current government and replace its leader with, well, the current leader.

No less than the Integrated Bar of the Philippines said, immediately, that there was no legal, factual, practical or moral basis for a revolutionary government. Such a proposal is repugnant to constitutionalism and must be discouraged and denounced, said the IBP national president Domingo Egon.

We would leave the experts to debate on the soundness of the proposal from a legal standpoint. We are sure that there would be no dearth of arguments that the Constitution does not contemplate a wanton interpretation of its letter. We place our faith on those whose fidelity lies with the law, rather than with any one person.

The proposal gets zero points, as well, on practical and moral grounds. In ordinary times, this idea will not fly; the absurdity is magnified many times over if we consider that this is being raised at a time when the pandemic continues to hurt our people, physically, mentally and economically. Meanwhile, the solutions we are offered are not based on science, and largely consist of waiting for a vaccine that would supposedly come from either of our benevolent friends—the Chinese or the Russians.

Meanwhile, too, hospitals continue to be overwhelmed, the public is clueless about the true extent of the contagion, and joblessness is at its worst.

The only instance these so-called patriots should imagine the future is when they are thinking of a day when the pandemic has been placed under control, and that Filipinos can realistically ponder prosperity, equity, and reverence for the law instead of any one individual.

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