MANILA, Philippines – The Liberal Party (LP) on Thursday, November 30, criticized President Rodrigo Duterte’s on-again, off-again threats to declare a revolutionary government, saying it “cheapens” the heroism of Filipinos in the past.
The party made the statement as the country remembers the 154th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, father of the Philippine revolution.
“Such talks or threats by top government officials cheapen the gallantry and sacrifices of our heroes, who have fought for self-determination and social order, freedom and democracy now being enjoyed by Filipinos,” said the party.
As early as the 2016 elections, Duterte made mention of declaring a revolutionary government, citing supposed flaws in the way government currently works. If a revolutionary government is declared, all branches of government are suspended.
The revolution’s leader, the de facto leader of the country, then arranges government the way he wishes. (READ: Can Duterte declare a revolutionary gov’t? Here’s what you need to know)
The LP insisted there was no need for such a dramatic declaration. “The phantom of chaos, destabilization, and ouster raised by the administration can be dealt with under the present Constitution. A revolutionary government is not an option under the Constitution, unless the real intention is an authoritarian rule, which will bring us back to the dark ages,” it added.
The party, whose members belong to both majority and opposition blocs in Congress, said there was an “intention to confuse the public with mixed messages,” citing Duterte and his mouthpieces’ pronouncements.
“We appeal to this government to categorically state that it would not declare a revolutionary government to once and for all lay to rest the apprehension of the people,” the LP added.
Duterte’s supporters staged rallies on November 30 to support Duterte’s apparent call for a revolutionary government, while progressive groups are staging protests to raise issues which Duterte has supposedly ignored. They are also against Duterte’s supposed plans for a revolutionary government.
“This Bonifacio Day, let us be aware of the difference between true and fake heroes, especially because the dictator’s remains are sullying the memory and sacrifices of the real heroes buried at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani,” said the party, referring to the unexpected burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The hero’s burial was among Duterte’s campaign promises.
Marcos was president of the Philippines for over two decades. He placed the country under martial law for 9 of those years. His presidency is marred by human rights violations and the pilferage of public funds by Marcos himself and his cronies. – Rappler.com