PRESIDENT Duterte has reached a new level of mania. In a recent tirade, he declared that he would overthrow his own government to establish a revolutionary government. Is paranoia enough leverage for him to upend democracy?

Time and again, he has accused all of his critics and detractors of being part of convening for plots to oust him from power. He blames the “dilawan” and “reds,” for any possibility of destabilization of the government.

He has the majority in Congress, Supreme Court and basically everyone in power pliably kowtowing to him and everything he stands for. What kind of opposition group, in their right minds, would stage an assassination and destabilization when such could easily erase them from the Philippine political landscape?

And for a fact, the communist rebels, which he credits for too much influence, are not as powerful as they were.

Don’t these critics have the right to put misaligned policies and pronouncements to pillory? If he can’t handle them, why should he put up a revolutionary government?

In retrospect, there had been two instances of putting revolutionary governments in place: one in 1899 by the Malolos Congress led by Emilio Aguinaldo and another in 1986 by the late former President Corazon Aquino.

The Malolos Congress inaugurated the First Philippine Republic in 1899, an incipient revolutionary government, with Aguinaldo as President. It was established for Filipinos to self-rule, become independent from colonial bondage, but was later put to an end when Aguinaldo was captured and took an oath of allegiance with the United States.

Cory’s revolutionary government, meanwhile, was established when she assumed Presidency via the success of the 1986 Revolution that overthrew the Marcos regime. During these times, she was ruling by decree following the abolition of the 1973 Constitution that was in force during Martial Law to promulgate the 1986 Freedom Constitution. This government endured until the ratification of the 1987 Constitution by a national plebiscite.

These two revolutionary governments, though short-lived, nonetheless paved the roads toward a certain consciousness of our nation—that we Filipinos, abled by our collective efforts, can put colonial rule and dictatorships to an end.

In a previous conversation that I had with UST Political Science Chairman Dennis Coronacion, he said an important question was left in the dark––what did Duterte mean by “revolutionary government?”

There is no certainty to what Duterte will do with his, but what the previous leaders did with their own revolutionary government was to eliminate everything that were oppressive of the previous regime’s rule. Thereby, it is outrageous to compare the principles of these two examples to what he is brewing.

Now, if the president decides to start a revolution against his own government, then our problem would escalate from his asininity to his pure lunacy.

He is on the wrong side of the revolution he speaks of and he is using a threat that he should not have been making. As always, the consequences of his pronouncement have been totally oversighted, putting out of context the possibility of hundreds of political killings, state-sanctioned drug killings and more.

It is important to keep in mind that revolutions are not always about the triumph of a certain cause, it is also about the blood drawn to ensure every step of the violent power struggle.

Dissent is not a crime, but the President’s pronouncements should be.


  1. I have a simple suggestion. Join government service especially front line agencies and you will know how messy the system is. By that time youll know what you are talking about. And youll realize, shucks, along the way Duterte was right.

    But in the meantime, let me tell you this. If indeed the govt is strong enough, why do we have to resort to an edsa revolt to oust a seating president. Not just once dude but thrice.

    If indeed the govt is strong enough, why is the system prone to corruption… to political accommodation.

    If indeed the govt is strong, why was mariano, judy and gina lopez, ousted from office when the president has, as you said, a supramajority in Congress.

    Do us a favor dude. Read migdal: strong societies, weak states. It will help you realize how powerful the oligarchs are and why govt is too weak.


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