Tuesday 12 December, 2017
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Ex-CJ Panganiban: Duterte’s RevGov will only succeed with support of people staring at the barrel of a gun

Will he take the risk?

This was the question posed by former Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban to President Rodrigo Duterte on his plan to establish a revolutionary government (RevGov) or a “self-coup.”

“Why take risks? Clearly, a RevGov led by the incumbent President is quite risky for him, because he would automatically lose his constitutional mandate and term. With no constitution to be loyal to, military adventurers would be free to launch coup attempts,” said Panganiban in his Inquirer column.

Former Senator Kit Tatad warned of a free-for-all by disavowing his constitutional presidency by declaring a RevGov.

“The Liberal Party would be free to proclaim Leni Robredo or Sonny Trillanes as their President; the Ilocanos could proclaim Bongbong, Imee or Rudy Farinas as theirs; the Mindanaoans could have a toss-up between Bong Go, Pantaleon Alvarez, Koko Pimentel and Sara Duterte-Carpio, should DU30 suddenly sign off; even the trolls could choose between Mocha Uson and Vivian Velez,” said Tatad in his Manila Times column

Panganiban said that unless Duterte was sure of solid public and military support, his insider power grab would fail and would lead the country into chaos.

“To succeed, a RevGov—whether installed by outsiders or by insiders — needs the firm support of the people and the might of guns and guts. Without either, it would fail,” said Panganiban citing the numerous coup attempts led by RAM leader Gringo Honasan during her first three years in office.

Panganiban explained that Duterte was getting impatient with the gridlock faced by his reforms and that he yearned for a RevGov to have the dictatorial powers of his idol, the late
President Ferdinand Marcos

“The 1987 Constitution castrated the powers of the president and strengthened those of Congress and the Supreme Court…martial law has not accorded him even a quarter of Marcos’ clout in 1972,” said Panganiban.

It is possible that Duterte could have his way and install a RevGov, so Panganiban said it was up to the defenders of the 1987 Constitution to defend democracy.

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