Editorial: Playing with fire Featured

Editorial: Playing with fire Image: Wikipedia

President Rodrigo Duterte appears bent on declaring a revolutionary government despite admitting that he will not have the full support of various sectors, including the business community, the academe, the church, civil society, and most importantly, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
A little more than a week ago, he said that Vice President Leni Robredo was correct when she said that the AFP was not likely to support a revolutionary government. Yet this week, the president again stated that he was seriously considering taking such a step.
Having already declared martial law throughout all of Mindanao, the chief executive is not satisfied. He seeks more power, citing destabilization efforts of his enemies. Not the enemies of the Filipino enemies, mind you. His enemies.
Mr. Duterte claims that martial law will not be enough due to its “many restrictions.” He, therefore, wants to wield absolute power that does away with the basic law of the land, that most sacred of all documents – the Constitution.
It would seem that he now has valid fears of his administration being toppled, and this is not acceptable to this president by plurality.
We must ask: Who in his right mind would risk the very stability of the state by taking a step that the armed forces would not support?
Should Mr. Duterte push through with his plan, he knows the consequences. There will be chaos and innocent lives will be lost. Blood will flow in the streets. Worst of all, the Philippines will cease being a democracy. Again.
He will take full control of the legislative and judicial branches of government, turning himself into the country’s second dictator. For all his faults, at least the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos understood that economic and political stability was necessary for the Philippines to continue functioning as a country.
This will not be the case in the event that Mr. Duterte does declare a revolutionary government.
He will almost certainly have his imagined enemies like former President Benigno Aquino III, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno arrested. He will also have the vice president imprisoned for no other reason than the fact that she is respected by the military. Having had a duly elected senator Leila de Lima incarcerated for trumped up charges, he feels that he can get away with anything.
How wrong he is.
Mr. Duterte says that a revolutionary government will be declared once the situation in the streets goes out of control and his government weakened.
It will be so easy for his minions to initiate the very acts that he says will necessitate his taking absolute power.
There may or may not be rational minds within his inner circle. Hopefully there are and hopefully he still listens to them. They should tell him to stop.
The Filipino people will not accept Mr. Duterte’s revolutionary government, period. He should remove such an evil thought from his mind. Under a worst case scenario, there will be civil war. There will be hell to pay and he knows it.
Is this what the president of the Philippines wants?

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