Press Release
November 10, 2017

Dispatch from Crame 194
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's statement on calls for a revolutionary government under Duterte


Those asking for a so-called RevGov or revolutionary government under Duterte should be careful what they wish for.

A revolutionary government means the abrogation of the Constitution, the only thing that is keeping Duterte president of the country. Without the Constitution, there is no longer any legal basis for keeping Duterte in power.

Without the Constitution, the AFP (possibly the only government institution that will survive without the constitution) is no longer bound to recognize Duterte as president, and might be inclined to grab power for itself and lead the country through a military council or junta led by its chosen generals.

Unless Duterte's sycophants are so sure of the AFP's loyalty to their idol, they should therefore think twice before opening a pandora's box to a military takeover. As far as I am concerned, the military has no particular reason why it should want to keep Duterte as President in the absence of the 1987 Constitution. His record in kowtowing to China and selling out the Spratlys is notorious among the generals and junior officers.

The AFP has never felt any affinity to the number one external security threat to the Philippines. In the absence of Duterte's constitutional mandate with the abolition of the Constitution, the AFP's generals and junior officers have no reason whatsoever to continue tolerating a civilian leader who has not shown any resolve in asserting PH's hard-fought victory before the Arbitral Tribunal at the Hague, hence, weakening the AFP's external defense position in the country's territories in the West Philippine Sea.

Thus, in the event of an adventurist declaration of a RevGov by Duterte as supported by his fanatics, he might actually be the very first civilian leader to be overthrown or arrested by the military for the crime of coup d' etat, regardless of the fact that he is President, because more than owing loyalty to the duly-elected President, the AFP is sworn to defend the constitution, and the Philippines from all enemies, foreign or domestic.

Duterte's looming call for a revolutionary government is now the most immediate domestic threat to the country. Its call for the abrogation of constitutional democracy flies in the face of the rule of law and national stability.

The sooner the AFP realizes this, the better it can respond to this adventurist threat, if it does not choose first to grab power for itself. Who needs Duterte and his kakistocracy of the worst and banal of public officials, if the military has so much more talent to offer from its ranks than Duterte's dysfunctional lot of "the best and brightest"?

We should never welcome a military takeover. But because of this infantile call for Duterte to declare a revolutionary government, that is exactly what we might end up with, and Duterte's head at the end of a stake.

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