'Revolutionary gov't' proposal important for public discourse, Roque says
File photo shows presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
The STAR/Joven Cagande

'Revolutionary gov't' proposal important for public discourse, Roque says

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - September 1, 2020 - 5:45pm

MANILA, Philippines —  Talks about the proposed revolutionary government by supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte, while he does not support them, should be talked about in public and not in secret because these are part of public discourse, the Palace said Tuesday.

This comes after the chief executive on Monday night said that any discussions about the proposed "revolutionary government" by the so-called Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Committee should be held in public, and not in secret. 

"As I said, that revolutionary government should not be discussed in secrecy. It should be discussed publicly. Including the military, they should be able to say what they want to say," he said then in Filipino in a recorded public address.

In a statement issued Tuesday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said: "The president's position remains that a revolutionary government is not what we need in these times."

"If there are any citizens or sectors who hold resentment and strongly feel that revolutionary government can solve their problems, then that is where public discourse on important issues affecting us as a country every day comes in," he also said. 

'Public discourse'

Other calls for change have not been met with the same response from administration officials. 

READ: Robredo: Gov't not receptive to criticism, suggestions on COVID-19 response

When medical societies called for a "time-out" at the start of August citing failures on the part of the government's approach to the coronavirus pandemic, Duterte said that he heard and acknowledged their concerns—and then scolded them for publicly voicing their grievances "as if" to call for a revolution. 

Even surveys by polling body the Social Weather Stations are rebuffed by Roque when these do not paint a flattering picture of the government's handling of the pandemic.

The Palace spokesperson has said on more than one occasion that bad survey results should be expected because "everyone is struggling" amid the pandemic anyway. 

Speaking in her radio show Sunday, Vice President Leni Robredo said that the Duterte administration seemed to be averse to any form of criticism. The president's own public addresses has featured lengthy asides where he hits Robredo and government critics. Officials have also conflated criticism with attempts to bring down the government. 

“Please do not add fuel to the fire. You will just destroy the government. Do not destroy the government because you will destroy the people. If the government is brought down, we will all be floating. Even if we say I die tomorrow, it cannot solve the problem of the country,” Duterte said in a video aired August 25. The comment was addressed to Robredo.

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