President Rodrigo Duterte has denied threatening to establish a revolutionary government, saying he was misquoted by the media.
“[A] revolutionary [government]? Then we should have a revolution first. Until there is a revolution, that’s unlikely. I said, [it will happen]if things go out of control and the government is left on the edge, that’s my predicate,” Duterte told reporters in Davao City on Friday night.
“It wasn’t an outright statement that we should establish a revolutionary government. What I said…they (media) would really cut my message. That’s why I said I won’t engage on media’s whims,” Duterte added.
President Duterte said in October he would declare a revolutionary government if communists launched a destabilization attempt against the government.
“If your destabilization is taking place and there is chaos already, I will not hesitate to declare a revolutionary government until the end of my term and I will arrest all of you and we can go into a full-scale war against the Reds. I will declare a revolutionary government, you are all arrested. I am not scaring people, just remember
that,” Duterte said then.
His daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte echoed her father’s statements, saying that the threat of destabilization was as real as terrorism.
The President has also alleged that the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency and the opposition, led by the Liberal Party, were plotting his ouster.
The military and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana have repeatedly discounted destabilization threats against President Duterte.
The last time a revolutionary government was established in the Philippines was in 1986, by then President Corazon Aquino, after she was installed as Commander in Chief in the aftermath of the “People Power” revolution that ousted Ferdinand Marcos.
Her revolutionary government abolished the 1973 Constitution and replaced it with the “Freedom Constitution” that allowed her to exercise executive and legislative powers, pending the adoption of the 1987 Constitution that restored Congress.
In October, De La Salle University political science professor Antonio Contreras warned that a “revolutionary government” outside of a revolution would be tantamount to a coup.
“There are only two ways the President can establish what some call a revolutionary government. One is to have a revolution. Unfortunately, revolutions are not planned events. The other is to launch a palace coup against his own government with the support of the military,” he wrote on Facebook.
“There is no other way. So let us stop avoiding the elephant in the room. There is no politically correct term for it. It is still a coup,” he added.