Roque on 'RevGov' group: I don't know what they want, it's incomprehensible
President Rodrigo Duterte discusses matters with his spokesperson Harry Roque on the sidelines of the 22nd Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on Feb. 5, 2018.
PPD/Ace Morandante
Roque on 'RevGov' group: I don't know what they want, it's incomprehensible
( - September 2, 2020 - 8:41pm

MANILA, Philippines — Although it is important to keep "public discourse" out in the public and not in private, the Palace said that calls for a revolutionary government to fast-track the push towards federalism are "strange" and "incomprehensible."

Speaking in an interview with CNN Philippines, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that Duterte was elected to a fixed term in office and will step down when his term formally ends in 2022.

Malacañang has been distancing itself from the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating which called on Duterte last month to declare a revolutionary government. .

Duterte, who himself previously floated the idea of declaring a revolutionary government to address the nation’s problems, has said that he does not know them nor care about the, despite having photographs posted by the Presidential Communications Operations Office of him delivering a speech before them. 

"The president doesn't need a revolutionary government. As far as I'm concerned, he will finish his term of office. The Constitution should be upheld...The whole exercise to me is strange, incomprehensible," Roque said, adding that a revolutionary government does not fall within the framework of the 1987 Constitution. 

“In fairness, I don’t know what they want. They claim to be supporters of the president so why would they want to unseat a constitutional president. So I find it strange. The whole exercise to me is incomprehensible,” he also said. 

MRRD-NECC said last week that a revolutionary government could also have Vice President Leni Robredo at the helm as an alternative option. The vice president was among the first to dismiss the idea.

READ: Palace: 'RevGov' group free to express opinion but gov't busy with COVID-19

Although the Palace says it does not support the call, it has also said that it was made by a "private" group free to express its opinion. Other groups that have clamored for change, like in the policy that kept jeepneys off the road during the stricter quarantine, have not been so lucky.

Roque also later said that there was no "clear and present danger" in the calls to overthrow the government and establish a revolutionary one, saying they were part of public discourse. 

"As far as his personal conviction is concerned, he was clear he does not need the revolutionary government because it’s a constitutional government and he will finish his term and go home to Davao," Roque also said.

Pangilinan: Act on pandemic instead of discussing 'revolutionary government'

In a separate statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Francis Pangilinan called on administration officials to "work on improving its abysmal COVID-19 pandemic response" instead of entertaining the revolutionary government proposals. 

"What the government should be doing is fixing their COVID response. As of September 1, nine months after the first COVID case was monitored, the confirmed cases have passed 224,000 and almost 3,600 Filipinos have died because of COVID," Pangilinan said.

"The COVID situation is horribly out of control. That's why the open discussion that needs to be done is on how to overhaul the government's COVID response which is marred with incompetence and corruption," he added. — Franco Luna

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