Duterte’s revolutionary gov’t warning ‘a martial law disguise’

A LAWMAKER said on Sunday that President Rodrigo Duterte's warning to declare a revolutionary government is a disguise to speed up his plan on imposing a martial law nationwide.

Duterte has warned his critics of declaring a revolutionary government instead of a martial law if the alleged attempts to destabilize his administration worsen.

Read: Duterte warns of revolutionary gov't amid destabilization threats

"If your destabilization seems to prosper and it becomes chaotic, I will not hesitate to declare a revolutionary government until the end of my term," Duterte said.

Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin said Duterte might use the nationwide transport strike on Monday, October 16, and other protests to justify his planned "excessive use" of martial law powers accorded to a president by the Constitution.

These are not destabilizatization attempts, Villarin said, but the public's strong dissent against his inaction to many issues being hurled against his administration.

"What is being perceived as a destabilizing factor is the expanding critical dissent of our people against moves by the Duterte administration to deny accountability over EJKs, silence the opposition, impugn the integrity of critical public officials and the democratic institutions that serve as checks and balances like the Ombudsman, Commission on Human Rights, and Supreme Court," Villarin said.

Villarin said that while the President knows that a revolutionary government has no constitutional basis, the latter will make the people believe that doing so will benefit the country.

"If that is so, we might be on our way to authoritarian rule and losing our basic freedoms," Villarin added.

Villarin said that it is only through people's power that a revolutionary government is installed.

"It can not be invoked by a sitting President to retain and prolong the exercise of martial law powers and to go after perceived enemies of the state," he said.

"It is unconstitutional and in itself is a major destabilizing move that people have to resist if we want to preserve our democracy and democratic way of life," Villarin said.

Duterte earlier claimed that the left leaders and the officials belonging to the opposition have joined hands to oust him.

His claims were repeatedly denied by the leaders of various militant groups and the opposition, saying that the President's allegations were only based on his administration's "insecurities" and "imaginary fears." (SunStar Philippines)
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