Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Dutere is planning to form a revolutionary government if elected president on May 9, saying the current Constitution could no longer address many of the problems besetting the country.
A report by Saleema Refran on GMA News TV's "State of the Nation" with Jessica Soho on Wednesday said Duterte made the statement after the New People's Army (NPA) rebels released to him Pfc. Edgardo Hilaga Junior of the Philippine Army in Tulunan, Cotabato, on Tuesday.
"Ako magtindog ug bag-o nga gobyerno. Haros jud ni. Ilisdan nako ning gobyerno. Magrebolusyon ko kung naa nako didto kay dili ni para sa tao. Dili ni matabang kaning Konstitusyon nato. Wala gyud [Magtatayo ako ng bagong gobyerno. Sira talaga ito. Papalitan ko itong gobyernong ito. Magrebolusyon ako kapag nandoon na ako kasi hindi na ito para sa tao. Hindi ito kayang solusyonan ng Konstitusyon natin. Hindi talaga]," he said, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Before deciding to run for president, Duterte has expressed his desire to set up a revolutionary government to pave the way for a federal form of government.
“Pag naa nako, muingon ko na, I will revolt from the inside, dili revolt na magpatay ta. Naa nakoy back-up sa katawhan, back up sa tanan, ang military, pulis musunod na na [Kapag nandoon na ako, I will revolt from the inside, hindi revolt na magpatayan tayo. Kapag may back-up ako sa tao, sa lahat, ang military, pulis susunod na iyan],” he said.
On Monday, Duterte went to an NPA camp in Mindanao to facilitate the release of five policemen held captive by the rebels. A photo of him speaking in front of the rebels with the flag of the Communist Party of the Philippines behind him was published on the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Duterte has been open about his closeness to the NPA, which is considered a terrorist by the United States.
Malacañang has expressed alarm regarding this photo.
“This picture should lead us to think seriously and be concerned if this is the future for the Philippines which presidential candidate Duterte is offering to our people,” Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said in a statement.
Former University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law Dean Pacifico Agabin said that Duterte’s plan of a revolutionary government may pave the way for dictatorship, the same with the administration of late President Ferdinand Marcos.
“He assumes legislative and executive power. He becomes both the President as well as Congress. If the executive and the legislative powers are concentrated in one person, that is a dictatorship,” he said in a report by Saleema Refran on GMA News TV's State of the Nation with Jessica Soho.
Agabin said that Duterte’s plan may also lead to his impeachment.
“But under the present Constitution, members of the ruling class will use the present Constitution to fight back, and assume the flag of legality. It’s even possible that the military will be divided,” he said.
Duterte’s rivals also slammed his pronouncement.
Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said that it only proved how problematic the Duterte-NPA connection is.
“Napatunayan ang koneksyon ng NPA, ng mga komunistang NPA sa kay Mayor Duterte. Kung gusto ninyo manaig ang komunismo dito sa ating bansa, kung gusto ninyo na lumakas ang boses ng NPA na rebelde sa ating bansa, malinaw kung sino ang dapat ninyong piliin,” he said.
Vice President Jejomar Binay then said that a radical change is not the answer to the country's problems.
“Rebolusyon o radical change, iyon ba ang pagsagot sa problema sa pamamahala, eh papatayin ang tao? Nakakatakot naman iyon,” he said.
Senator Grace Poe then told the mayor not to play with the feelings of the people by flip-flopping on his statements.
“Iyon na nga ang palaging sinasabi niya—bubuwagin, tatanggalin. Ah bukas, hindi. Huwag namang paglaruan ang damdamin natin. Mabuti nga maraming naniniwala sa kanya. Sana patunayan niya na talagang kapani-paniwala at tapat ang sinasabi niya,” Poe said.
On Wednesday, Duterte told reporters that he will not set up a communist government when pressed about the free trade agreement.
“We will adapt the same—hindi ito komunista—the same government and Constitution. We are governed by the Constitution,” he said. —KBK/BAP/KG, GMA News