De Lima warns of 'military takeover' if Duterte declares revolutionary gov't

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Leila de Lima on Sunday, November 19, condemned President Rodrigo Duterte's threat to declare a revolutionary government, and added that it may even lead to his own downfall.

De Lima, a staunch critic of the President, warned that Duterte can be forcibly removed from office if he insists on declaring a revolutionary government to crush communists and those whom he perceives to be "enemies of the state."

The senator said that if the Constitution is not followed, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) can initiate a "military takeover" since it is no longer bound to recognize Duterte as president.

"Those asking for a so-called RevGov or revolutionary government under Duterte should be careful what they wish for," De Lima said in a note from Camp Crame, where she has been detained for alleged involvement in the drug trade.

The President has repeatedly toyed with the idea of a revolutionary government, citing alleged destabilization plots against him.

De Lima believes the military has no reason to keep Duterte as president since, according to the senator, he has become "China's lackey."

Last November 8, Vice President Leni Robredo said the AFP and the Department of National Defense (DND) both assured her they would not back a revolutionary government.

Duterte gave a light-hearted response to Robredo's remarks, saying the military should follow the Vice President. But he did not give a categorical answer when asked if declaring a revolutionary government is "off the table."

"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," De Lima said. –