By Jonathan Dela Cruz | Manila Standard
“Proponents should advocate something else.”
To dispel any doubts about the intention of the proponents of the RevGov initiative other than the “introduction of constitutional changes including, among others, the shift to federalism as promised by then candidate Rodrigo Duterte,” I strongly suggest that the group abandon their call for the President to declare a revolutionary government.
This is untimely. We need to be united as a people to do battle and put a lid on this pandemic. The call for the installation of a revolutionary government is patently unconstitutional. The fact that for years, there has been an increasing clamor to revisit the 1987 Constitution and rewrite a number of unrealistic and ambiguous provisions, does not justify setting it aside which is the immediate consequence of the establishment of a revolutionary government. There is nothing in the present Constitution or even the 1973 or 1935 Constitutions which provides for such an arrangement. To declare one, even if done by a duly elected chief executive, is to abandon it altogether. That means uprooting the very foundation of the country as we know it. That would be setting aside the terms of relations among citizens and between the government and the governed, the social contract and governance rules and the stewardship of the country’s resources, among others.
This kind of advocacy can only lead to instability and chaos which can exacerbate the problems we are experiencing at this time. Our people are sick, hungry and grieving as the pandemic runs roughshod all through the archipelago, with no signs of letup despite our having the longest-running quarantine in varying degrees among all countries. Joblessness stalks the land as more businesses are slowing down or closing altogether. Our overseas workers are coming back in droves with hardly any hope of ever getting back to work. Government is running out of funds to support the most vulnerable sectors of society and jumpstart the economy. In a word, stability not chaos is the call of the day. We have to come around as one, care for and inspire each in order to move on. RevGov cannot and should not be the platform for such a Herculean national task.
I strongly suggest to the proponents that instead of pushing for RevGov, they should consider with extreme urgency calling on the Supreme Court to resolve the long-running electoral protest of former Senator Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos, Jr. There is every reason for the High Court to finally put this case to rest especially at this time of pandemic and public fears about what the future may bring. A final decision for or against any of the political rivals will definitely bring about the kind of stability needed to dispel any serious apprehensions about the country’s fate, should the present dire situation we are in gets even worse.
This will also stop on its tracks any rush to declare the chief executive incapable of continuing in office. Or push him out of Malacanang altogether, by whatever means. In a word, it will shift the country’s focus away from any political maneuverings to the critical tasks of combatting the pandemic, restarting the economy and restoring public confidence on our ability to move forward.
Persistent reports of the President’s health and the seeming inability of the government to enhance its responses to the pandemic has apparently prompted some sections of the populace to up their anti-Duterte profiles and engage quite aggressively in promoting the not-so-subtle effort of highlighting such administration vulnerabilities. There is even a macabre, insidious initiative maliciously titled “Duterte Watch” seemingly chronicling the President’s medical condition in parallel with the high profiling of certain political personalities carrying incendiary “advocacies.” The high tribunal’s resolution of this celebrated protest will go a long way in dousing such unwarranted, cowardly operations and getting people back to finding ways living with the pandemic until a vaccine or a cure comes around.
Tomorrow, September 1, we will lay to rest our dear friend, comrade-in-arms and kailian, Dean/Judge Ed Vincent Albano who died last August 28.
Known as a highly esteemed student of the law, Ed was a recognized law professor, legal practitioner, bar examiner and reviewer and a judge-of-judges who could have been a welcome addition to the High Court.
An untiring advocate for justice specially for the poor and downtrodden, he co-founded a social justice party which later became our very own ABAKADA Party List where he served as our Secretary-General and principal adviser. He will be sorely missed.