Panelo insists: Constitution allows Duterte to declare a revolutionary government if needed

  • President’s chief legal counsel said Duterte declaring revolutionary gov’t not unconstitutional
  • He insisted Constitution allows president to declare a revolutionary gov’t if needed
  • He also said electorate gave him a mandate for such declaration when he won the elections

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo insisted there was nothing wrong or illegal with the former declaring a revolutionary government.

Amid criticism of the unconstitutionality of such a move, Panelo said the 1987 Constitution —specifically the first line of Section 4, Article II— allows Duterte to make such a declaration.

The line states “The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people.”

“There is a constitutional mandate for that,” he told ABS-CBN.

Panelo added that the electorate itself had been informed of Duterte’s intentions during the campaign for the presidential elections.

“We must remember that during the campaign, he already said that. He said, ‘Do not vote for me. I will have a bloody presidency, and I will declare a revolutionary government if all things fail. If the forces against the government will work against it, I will be forced to declare a revolutionary government,” he said.

By winning the elections, Duterte was deemed to have obtained the consent to form a revolutionary government, the lawyer added.

“The electorate factored that, and when he was voted overwhelmingly, the electorate gave him the overwhelming mandate to declare a revolutionary government if there is a need for that,” he pointed out.

Duterte has often floated the idea of a revolutionary government; saying he can effect change easier without having to report to Congress like in martial rule.

“They will just make an issue of it. Go for a revolutionary government so that everything will be finished,” he said.

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