By Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque, CESOI, Diplomate
WILL the Philippines have a revolutionary government?
Official statements from Malacañang Palace and President Rodrigo R. Duterte dismiss the possibility of a revolutionary government declaration any time soon. Even with such dismissal, some groups, particularly those identified with the political opposition, still saw it necessary to openly express their opposition to a revolutionary government for the Philippines.
Before this issue creates further division among Filipinos, all concerned should clearly clarify first what each of them mean by “revolutionary government.”
After the EDSA People Power Revolution that led to the downfall of the Marcos Administration in 1986, the late Corazon Aquino declared and essentially formed a revolutionary government. But such revolutionary government should be understood and appreciated in its rightful context.
At that time, even if (for argument’s sake) majority of Filipinos believed that Corazon Aquino won the 1985 snap presidential elections, she could not claim the presidency because it was Marcos who was “officially” declared as the election winner.
With President Aquino’s declaration and establishment of a revolutionary government, all powers were concentrated to her as the country’s revolutionary president. There were no reactions, violent or otherwise, against the revolutionary government during that time because the people believed that it was best for the country. The established democratic institutions prior to February 1986 were effectively shut down as just one person wielded all government powers.
The Filipino people supported such government because back then, it was believed by many that the government under the late President Marcos was no longer democratic as it did not serve the interests of the people.
Those who are opposed to President Duterte’s establishment of a revolutionary government believe that democratic institutions are still working and that there is no need for government powers to be concentrated to just one person.
People supported the revolutionary government of the late President Corazon Aquino because for them, it was a way out of a dictatorship. Some groups are opposed now to a revolutionary government because they fear that it will usher in a dictatorial rule.
We should deal with this matter not on the basis of fear of some groups about what the President will or will not do.
If and when President Duterte or any future Philippine president establishes a revolutionary government, let him define the scope and limits of such government and from the same, the people – all Filipinos and not just some groups – should be given an opportunity to decide whether such kind of government is what is best for them and the country because that is what democracy is all about.