Duterte claims he has nothing do to with group calling for revolutionary gov’t. But ‘receipts’ show otherwise

August 25, 2020 - 7:04 PM
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Duterte on Aug 25 Speech
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Matina Enclaves in Davao City on August 24, 2020. (PCOO/Robinson Niñal)

The local online community showed “receipts” or photos of President Rodrigo Duterte with members of the movement that pushes for a revolutionary government after he dismissed their renewed calls in his national address aired Tuesday morning.

The chief executive in his late night meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Monday night distanced himself from the voluntary movement despite floating the idea before.

“Pero alam mo, marami ngayon may naglalabas—revolutionary government. Tapos ako ang sinasabi na…” Duterte said in his recorded speech aired Tuesday.

“Wala akong pakialam diyan. Wala akong kilala sa mga tao na ‘yan at hindi ko ‘yan trabaho,” he added in response to the renewed calls of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC), a voluntary movement composed of people who want a revolutionary constitution led by Duterte.

But photos from the website of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, the lead communications arm of the government, showed the chief executive attending the group’s national convention at Pasay City on March 21, 2018, two years after he became the president.

RELATED: ‘I don’t know them’: Duterte distances self from group who renewed call for revolutionary gov’t

Some Filipinos, including GMA Palace correspondent Joseph Morong, likewise shared more pictures and videos of Duterte with members of the group before.

Morong shared a video of the 2018 event that the president attended which featured him making an entrance to the stage that had his name.

Morong also shared a copy of the media advisory sent to reporters for the particular event which included the proposed program of activities.

Duterte was expected to deliver a speech, based on the program.

A writer also shared that Duterte had a picture with MRRD-NECC on May 15, 2018—months after he attended a convention with them—at the Casiguran Airport.

The picture was uploaded on Philippine News Agency, considered the official newswire service of the government.

The writer recalled Duterte’s words on his latest national address as she shared the picture on the microblogging platform.

Another Twitter user shared a YouTube link of a video uploaded by an account called “DUTERTE NEWS REPORT” which featured Duterte delivering his speech to MRRD-NECC in 2018.

“How could someone forget attending such a big event?” the online user wrote.

Revolutionary gov’t?

Last Saturday, MRRD-NECC renewed the calls for a revolutionary government to be established in the Philippines.

The group convened on the same historical day when members of the Katipunan or the Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan tore their cedulas or residence certificate issued by the Spaniards.

The event signaled the start of the Philippine revolution against the Spanish regime.

Meanwhile, MRRD-NECC issued a resolution that specified the “powers” they demanded Duterte should have for a  “revolutionary government,” “charter change” and a “presidential-federal-parliamentary system of government.”

Some of the items listed in the resolution include the purging and removal of officials and employees accused of corruption, the creation of commissions for overseas Filipino workers and traffic management, and elimination of drugs and corruption.

The Palace said the administration doesn’t support the calls but said that it is the group’s right to freely “express their opinion.”

Philstar.com reported that Duterte as early as 2015, during the presidential campaign trail, had dangled the call to establish a revolutionary government if elected.

He said that he would padlock Congress and the judiciary through extraconstitutional means and would establish a federal-parliamentary type of government.

Duterte reiterated the calls when he was elected into office, particularly in 2017 and 2019.

In 2017, he threatened to establish such a government following supposed destabilization plots against his administration and on 2019, he renewed the threat when opposition senator Franklin Drilon said the administration should be careful in reviewing government contracts.

A revolutionary government refers to a type of provisional administration created after toppling or ousting a former state leader.

Constitutional law professor Tony La Viña said that if such a government would be established, Duterte has to be overthrown from his position.

The chief executive would also be “automatically” considered resigned if he supports the movement.

RELATED: Can proponents of revolutionary government be held liable under Anti-terror law? lawyers weigh in