January 21, 2018, 12:53 am
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Pro, anti-Duterte groups hold rallies on RevGov

BY JP LOPEZ AND JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR

MEMBERS of militant groups yesterday gathered at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila to denounce a revolutionary government (RevGov) that President Duterte said he might set up, while a group of Duterte supporters held a rally at the foot of Mendiola (Don Chino Roces) Bridge near Malacañang, calling for a revolutionary government.

The Manila Police District Operation Center said there were about 1,000 persons at the anti-Duterte rally at the Liwasang Bonifacio and about 3,500 Duterte supporters at Mendiola.

The mass actions coincided with the 154th birth anniversary of hero Andres Bonifacio.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said some people are making a big deal out of the revolutionary government issue when it is not even needed now.

He dismissed the “alarm” raised by Vice President Leni Robredo about efforts of some supporters of President Duterte for a shift to a revolutionary government.

“With all due respect to the Vice President, I don’t see why it is alarming because the President has time and again said that he would only resort to a revolutionary government kapag nag-coup, kapag-lupaypay na iyung gobyerno, pag-nahihingalo na iyung gobyerno, and of course hindi naman ganyan ang nangyayari sa gobyerno ngayon (he would resort to a revolutionary government only if there is a coup, if the government is languid, if the government is dying, and of course that is not what is happening now) … there is no basis and there is no need for a revolutionary government for now.”

Robredo, at the Andres Bonifacio Day rites in Caloocan City, said calls for a revolutionary government go against the Constitution. 

“This is alarming because it seems very ironic that these government officials want to revolt against the government they represent,” she said.

She said government officials who back a revolutionary government might not be aware of its implications.

“Declaring a revolutionary government means we no longer have faith in this government and in our Constitution,” she said.

The protesters at the Liwasang Bonifacio belong to the leftist groups Kilusang Mayo Uno, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan). 

Among personalities seen wete former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes, and leaders of other militant labor and youth groups.

They branded as a “mere dictatorship” the proposed revolutionary government of Duterte.

KMU, in a statement, denounced Duterte’s supposed penchant for Charter change, federalism, and martial law extension and expansion, which it said marks the setting up of a “US-backed dictatorial rule through a bogus ‘revolutionary government.’”

It said it condemns Duterte’s “rampage to establish his one-man rule in the country by intensifying the brutal crackdown of legal organizations critical to his anti-people policies and by suppressing the growing opposition from the remnants of previous administrations and even with his administration.”

The group planned to march to Mendiola where the pro-Duterte group was. At the corner of S. H. Loyola st. and Recto Avenue, anti-riot policemen repulsed them with water cannons.

The group dispersed before 5 p.m. after burning an effigy of Duterte.

At Mendiola, the mood was festive as Duterte supporters sang and danced in between speeches calling for federalism and the establishment of a revolutionary government.

Efren Reyes, deputy chairman of People’s Reform Initiative Movement Laguna chapter, said under the revolutionary government, the President could easily establish federalism.

“Ang revolutionary government ay tinig ng sambayanang Pilipino. People’s initiative ito (A revolutionary government is the voice of the Filipino people. It is people’s initiative),” Reyes said. – With Angela Lopez de Leon


   
 
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