MANILA, Philippines – Former Senate president Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr called out Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III for pushing for a revolutionry government or RevGov, calling it an irresponsible statement from a government official sworn to protect the Constitution.
The longtime federalism advocate made the statement in a Palace news briefing on Friday, September 21.
"Mas lalong hindi maganda 'yung proposal ni Assistant Secretary Densing to create a revolutionary government. My goodness! 'Yung nga iniiwasan natin sa panahon ni Marcos!" Pimentel said on Friday.
(Even worse is the proposal of Assistant Secretary Densing to create a revolutionary government. My goodness! That is what we wanted to avoid in the time of Marcos!)
"Revolutionary government ang gusto mo kung saan ang karapatan ng taumbayan ay tanggalin at hindi irespeto (is what you want where the rights of our people will be removed and not respected). For heaven's sake, I suggest this government official be more careful with their statements," he added.
The common concept of a revolutionary government is the overthrowing of an existing political regime in favor of a popular leader who can now "redo" the entire government. This would mean the 1987 Constitution gets thrown out the window as the Charter does not provide for such a set-up. (READ: Can Duterte declare a revolutionary government? Here's what you need to know)
Earlier this month, Densing had joined a gathering in Butuan City where he pushed for a revolutionary government as a transition to a federal government.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government distanced itself from his remarks and emphasized that it is "advocating for federalism through constitutional means."
Densing, said the DILG, was merely airing his "personal opinion" as honorary chairman of the Mula sa Masa Duterte Movement. Densing, who was put in charge of promoting federalism in the DILG, also joined a "RevGov" rally in November 2017.
Densing had defended his actions as "freedom of speech."
But it was Duterte himself who first floated the idea of a revolutionary government. He had expressed support for a revolutionary government even before he declared his intention to run for the presidency.
In an October 2015 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 email@example.com.