MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said it would take a revolutionary government for the Philippines to "really go up," but while he liked the idea, the Chief Executive claimed it won't happen under his watch.
"For the Philippines to really go up, sabi ko, ang kailangan ng mga tao is not martial law. Go for ginawa ni Cory – revolutionary government. Pero huwag kayong magtingin sa akin. Hindi ako puwede diyan," he said in a speech before new appointees in government on Tuesday, August 29.
(For the Philippines to really go up, I said, the people don't need martial law. Go for what Cory did – revolutionary government. But don't look at me. I can't be part of that.)
Speaking to his new appointees, Duterte also said, "I was not joking but I am not into it."
Then President Corazon Aquino established a revolutionary government following the ouster of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. She abolished the 1973 Constitution and promulgated the provisional Freedom Constitution pending the ratification of the 1987 Constitution.
A revolutionary government allowed Aquino to declare all positions vacant and overhaul the bureaucracy.
Duterte said it would have been the "golden opportunity" for the Philippines, but Aquino's "mistake" was that "she returned it (government) to the politicians."
If he had any advice to give to another Philippine President, it would be to put up a revolutionary government.
"Me, my advice to a President who wants to change, do not go for martial law, people will make an issue out of it. Go for a revolutionary government, to finish everything," he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
If Aquino can do it, so can this future president, Duterte added.
He had expressed support for a revolutionary government even before he declared his intention to run for the presidency.
In an interview with Rappler's Maria Ressa, Duterte even said he would be the one to establish a revolutionary government.
In December 2015, he said he would close down Congress and declare a revolutionary government if senators and congressmen decide not to approve his proposed budget unless he brings back the controversial pork barrel system.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.