By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte reiterated his hope to never declare a revolutionary government (RevGov) in the Philippines as those calling for it held demonstrations across the country Thursday, during the celebration of the 154th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio.
This after groups expressed on social media their desire to hold demonstrations asking President Duterte to declare a revolutionary government to address the problems in the country, particularly the threat of terrorism, criminality, corruption in government, and illegal drugs.
Duterte, in an interview posted over the Facebook page of Communications assistant secretary Margaux Uson, told RevGov rallyists that there is really no need for a revolutionary government.
“There’s no need really to declare a revolutionary government. I hope there will never be a time that I will be compelled to call for it,” Duterte addressed his supporters.
“Only when the Republic of the Philippines is dying, siguro (maybe). But other than that, wala (there’s really no reason),” he added.
According to Duterte, he will not stop the people who joined the different demonstrations as he thinks that these people only believe that a revolutionary government will help solve the problems of the country much faster.
On early Thursday, Malacañang asked RevGov rallyists to remain sober as they held their demonstrations.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, even if Duterte already stated that he does not want a revolutionary government, the people are free to voice out their opinions regarding the matter.
The Palace official, however, asked the protesters to ensure that their demonstrations are peaceful and will not inconvenience the public.
“We ask those who would join in today’s demonstrations calling for a revolutionary government to conduct their rallies in a peaceful, orderly manner,” Roque said in a statement Thursday morning.
“The President has earlier said that he does not want a revolutionary government. This, however, does not mean he would prevent citizens from expressing their support for a revolutionary government,” he added.
Roque noted how Duterte articulated, in numerous occasions, that he allows protests and other forms of mass action as long as public safety and convenience are not compromised.
Roque assured that the police will observe maximum tolerance and exercise highest restraint during the conduct of all demonstrations during Bonifacio Day.
It was earlier reported that rallies supporting a revolutionary government under the Duterte administration would be held in 19 cities and towns, mostly in areas where Duterte won during the elections, coinciding the celebration of Bonifacio Day.
Progressive groups also held rallies to protest various issues they feel Duterte’s government failed to address, particularly the idea of a revolutionary government.
Duterte was supposed to lead the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony for the 154th Birth Anniversary of Andres Bonifacio at the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City.
He, however, was not supposed to attend. Vice President Leni Robredo and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana led the ceremonies.
President Duterte earlier said that he would only declare a revolutionary government if he feels that there are threats to topple the government.
Roque earlier assured that a revolutionary government is still not an option as there is no compelling reason or imminent threat yet to remove Duterte from power.
The Palace official, however, recognized that some Duterte supporters are calling for a revolutionary government as they think that it would expedite the changes the President has promised.
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