Red Revolution
COMMONSENSE - Marichu A. Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - November 19, 2017 - 4:00pm

There is something inherently wrong with one person or group calling for a revolutionary government or a revolution in a country. These usually result in failed revolutions that bring about more pain and suffering for their respective countries rather than the promised change. They become failed revolutions that plunge countries into turmoil or anarchy.

They usually start out with one person or group amplifying the complaints of people and urging them to stand up and change the system. These aren’t organic, it capitalizes on the fears and anger of people and one would-be dictator would style himself as savior and answer to all your problems.

In addition, these groups have hidden agendas they advance once they are installed in positions of power. Out of the blue there have been sudden pitches for revolutionary government noticeably during the past few days.

Those advocating it have even come up with the catchy term RevGov, for short.

The first group which first floated the idea of “revolutionary government” in our country, however, sought the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte from Malacañang Palace. This group, calling themselves the Patriotic and Democratic Movement (PADEM), claimed to have the support of the police and military establishments. The rumors were quickly nipped in the bud by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

It was not surprising that Communist Party of the Philippines chairman, Utrecht-based Jose Ma. “Joma” Sison, quickly issued his statement of support to President Duterte’s trial balloon of opting to a revolutionary government.

But the 130,000-strong AFP, led by their newly installed Chief of Staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, impressed upon their Commander-in-chief their loyalty to the country’s 1987 Constitution.

While President Duterte may have thought that a “revolutionary government” can possibly work in the country, it is not, however, under the same concept the communist minds wanted to rule.

Grudgingly perhaps, President Duterte respected the sentiments of the AFP and the PNP to abide by the constitutional process of succession rule and not by revolutionary government.

The renewed RevGov efforts though are nothing new. The birth of this idea was first reported in Commonsense last August 28 this year. The following are choice cuts from that column:

If he will have his way, President Rodrigo Duterte would like “to destroy” the government as the only way to stamp out completely the systemic corruption at the Bureau of Customs, and the entire bureaucracy for that matter. As far as President Duterte sees it best, only a “revolutionary government” can crush the crimes and corruption crippling the Philippines all this time.

A Palace birdie quoted President Duterte exclaiming anew that a “revolutionary government” is perhaps what the Philippines badly needed now, especially to best address the pernicious problems of corruption in the bureaucracy. The President wisecracked this during the meeting he called at Malacanang Palace with the leaders of the rebel soldiers group called the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM).

The President expressed his frustration in particular over the latest smuggling case of tons of shabu that slipped through the Bureau of Customs headed by commissioner Nicanor Faeldon. What especially riled the President the most was the failure of Faeldon, supposedly assisted at the Customs Bureau by his former fellow Magdalo mutineers, to put a lid on corruption at one of the most graft-prone agency of government.

In Russia, more than 70 years ago, a revolution led by Vladimir Lenin successfully overthrew the ruling monarchy and put in its place a communist government controlled by one party. This would later be known as the Bolshevik Revolution.

Historians would argue that this was a revolution that instilled a new ideology in the country. It might have been in the beginning until it was hijacked by the late Russian dictator Joseph Stalin who ruled his country for more than two decades under a reign of terror while modernizing Russia. Stalin used the idea of the revolution and the anger of the people to perpetuate himself in power.

In China, almost the same thing happened when Mao Zedong took power in 1945. Mao capitalized on the chaos that ensued after World War II and defeated the nationalist troops of Chiang Kai-shek. This led to the creation of the People’s Republic of China with Mao as the Chairman of the ruling party. As Chairman, Mao also perpetuated himself in power and was only unseated by his death in 1976.

Supporters of President Duterte calling itself Network Revolution are set to rally on Nov. 30, which coincides with the birth anniversary of Filipino revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio. Haven’t they heard the President shot down again RevGov just two weeks ago? These RevGov groups were trying to ride on the President’s dream to fast track the reforms he had promised the Filipino people.

Drawing from the experiences of world history, won’t these fast tracked reforms end up like Mao’s Cultural Revolution or Great Leap forward? From China and Russia’s experiences, the idea of a revolutionary government might simply be a rouse and might end up in a communist take over of our institutions, especially with card-bearing members of the CPP sitting in key positions in government. 

But one thing is clear, successful revolutions organically come from the people. It is a bottom up movement that results in the sovereign clamoring for change in society. Failed revolutions come from the top and end up with a power grab and the devastation of institutions and the death of democracy.

It would be a disaster if our country would be pushed more towards what could end up as a Red Revolution. But we Filipinos won’t just give up our hard-fought democracy, the last one of which was the 1986 People Power Revolution.


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