President Duterte recently threatened to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, arrest critics and declare a “revolutionary war” until the end of his term.
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‘Revolutionary government has no guidelines in Constitution’
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - April 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte’s threat to declare a revolutionary government is “totally the rule of force and the rule of the gun,” according to human rights lawyer and senatorial candidate Chel Diokno.

Diokno said a revolutionary government has no guidelines in the Constitution.

“Basically, Duterte can do that. That is rule of force, totally the rule of force and the rule of the gun,” Diokno said yesterday.

Duterte recently threatened to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, arrest critics and declare a “revolutionary war” until the end of his term.

Diokno, however, said this will be a betrayal of the people and the Constitution, which Duterte swore to uphold.

“If Duterte does that, he will turn traitor to the Constitution which he had sworn to uphold and defend. In effect, he will turn traitor against the people,” he added.

Diokno also agreed that Vice President Leni Robredo will have to assume the presidency should Duterte make good on this threat.

Diokno also reminded the Duterte administration that it cannot simply round up critics even with the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. 

He said authorities would still need to justify the arrest of any individual, not just because he or she was just being critical of the present administration.

Duterte’s outburst was apparently prompted by his outrage at calls for his administration to exercise caution when reviewing government deals, including those with China.

Diokno, however, said the President should not be “onion-skinned” and even offered him some advice.

“He is a lawyer, a former prosecutor. For us lawyers you cannot afford to lose your temper, especially if you are the highest official of the land,” Diokno said.

Diokno also reacted to Duterte’s allies dismissing the threats as a joke, saying the administration is toying with the lives of Filipinos.

According to Diokno, Duterte seems to be serious in his statements. “It doesn’t seem he was joking,” he said.

Marawi civic leader and opposition senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc denounced Duterte’s threats.

Gutoc said the Duterte administration should focus on more pressing issues like accountability in the bloody drug war.

Gutoc said Duterte should stop his “fake” tirades against the opposition. She said the President should properly counter the drug allegations against his son, Paolo. 

CONSTITUTION REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT
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