Barrita: First RevGov sans a revolution?

RUSSIAN communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist Vladimir Lenin once said, “A revolution is impossible without a revolutionary situation; furthermore, not every revolutionary situation leads to revolution.”

How about a revolutionary government (RevGov)? If a revolutionary situation does not always lead to a revolution, would there be a need for a revolution to have a RevGov?


If President Rody Duterte had his way, there may be no need for a revolutionary situation or even a revolution. He’d just declare a RevGov if his opponents tried to topple him from power.

•••

President Duterte has been talking about a revolutionary government even during the campaign for the presidency. He reiterated this to reporters in Davao City on Saturday.

“If things go out of control and the government is weakened—that is my predicate,” he said. “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.

The good thing is communist rebels and Muslim secessionists carry their guns only in remote places, not on the streets. Heavily-armed terrorists attacked Marawi City but were later repelled by state forces.

•••

The Marawi siege prompted the president to declare Martial Law in the entire Mindanao. But he really doesn’t like Martial Law.

“I don’t want martial law because it has many restrictions. I will take it to the hilt. So do not do something that will cause or even attempt to topple the government, I will not allow that,” he said.

In Martial Law, the president is required under the Constitution to report to Congress. In a revolutionary government, he can even abolish Congress and the Constitution itself. No hassle.

•••

Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said he did not think the president was serious about his threat to declare a revolutionary government.

Lacson said the country could have a revolutionary government “only after a revolution,” like the government that President Corazon Aquino set up after the fall of Marcos as a result of the Edsa People Power revolt in February 1986.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano also tried to ease fears about the president’s threat. “Take him seriously always on his objective but do not take literally his solution,” Cayetano said.

•••

The leader of the country’s 60,000 lawyers said the president’s plan to declare a RevGov if his opponents try to topple him from power cannot stand legal scrutiny.

“There’s no basis for the declaration of a revolutionary government. The institutions continue to be working, although there might be some attempts to downgrade their capabilities,” said Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

President Duterte, a lawyer and a former prosecutor, should have known that. But there is always a first, you know, perhaps the first ever revolutionary government without a revolution.
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