Gov't can lose 'moral mandate' due to RevGov – Villegas
MANILA, Philippines – Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas warned that the government can lose its "moral mandate" if it pursues a revolutionary government (RevGov) that Filipinos will find unlawful.
"Kung sakali na 'yung taumbayan ay magsasabi na labag 'yan sa batas, ang isang pamahalaan na hindi sumusunod sa batas, ang isang pamahalaan na hindi iginagalang 'yung Konstitusyon na nagluklok sa kanya, ay mawawalan ng moral mandate, ng mandato mula sa larangan ng moralidad, na mamuno," Villegas said in response to a question on Rappler Talk.
(If the people say that is against the law, then a government that does not follow the law, a government that does not respect the Constitution that put it in power, will lose its moral mandate, its mandate to lead from the sphere of morality.)
Villegas also pointed out that the mandate of leaders is to promote the "common good" – "ang kapakanan ng lahat, hindi ng iilan, hindi ng kakaunti, kundi ng kalahatan" (the welfare of all, not of only some, not of a few, but of the whole).
The archbishop then appealed to officials not to pursue this proposed revolutionary government.
"Kung sila ay nasa gobyerno, ang panawagan ay huwag 'nyo sanang gawin, kasi hindi ito ang dahilan kung bakit tayo ibinoto ng taumbayan," he said. (If you're in government, my appeal is for you not to pursue it, because this is not the reason the people elected you.)
"Pangalawa, kung kayo ay taumbayan, sana ay huwag nating asamin itong pamamaraang ito sapagkat sa lahat ng sistema ng gobyerno, ang demokrasya ang pinakamalapit sa teaching ng Ebanghelyo," he said.
(Secondly, if you're among the public, please don't desire this mode of governance because of all systems of government, a democracy is closest to the teachings of the Gospel.)
"Sana igalang natin 'yung demokrasya, at ang revolutionary government ay hindi makakatulong sa democratic processes," Villegas said. (I hope we respect our democracy, and a revolutionary government cannot help our democratic processes)
'No need for RevGov'
In his Rappler Talk interview, Villegas also said a revolutionary government "is an extraordinary solution to an extraordinary situation." He cited the extraordinary situations when the Philippines declared revolutionary governments under Andres Bonifacio and also under Corazon Aquino.
"Ang tanong ko ay, hindi ba tayo pangkaraniwang sitwasyon? Hindi ba nasa demokrasya tayo, meron tayong magandang eleksyon, naboto naman sa malinis na halalan. Wala naman sigurong pangangailangan para sa revolutionary government," Villegas said.
(My question is, aren't we in an ordinary situation? Aren't we in a democracy, we just had a good election, and officials were elected through clean polls. I don't think there's a need for a revolutionary government.)
The archbishop was a protégé of the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, who helped mount the 1986 People Power Revolution that ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The CBCP cited the "moral basis" of leadership in a historic statement on February 13, 1986, when it condemned "unparalleled" fraudulence of the snap elections that pitted Corazon Aquino against Marcos.
"According to moral principles, a government that assumes or retains power through fraudulent means has no moral basis," said a CBCP statement signed by then Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.
"If such a government does not of itself freely correct the evil it has inflicted on the people then it is our serious moral obligation as a people to make it do so," Vidal added.
Villegas made his latest remarks as President Rodrigo Duterte gives mixed signals on whether he wants to declare a revolutionary government. (READ: [OPINION] Revolutionary government: Show of force…or sign of weakness?)
Some Duterte supporters want the President to do this, but only reached a high of 5,000 people, according to the police, in a Manila rally on November 30.
Like Villegas, former solicitor general Florin Hilbay said a revolutionary government will affect the mandate of the current administration.
"A President who declares a revolutionary government is deemed resigned because s/he necesarily rejects the Constitution that made him President," Hilbay said in a tweet on November 10.
"Thus, the vice president becomes the president under the rules of succession of our Constitution. She becomes commander in chief and chief executive," Hilbay said. – Rappler.com
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