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Revolutionary government, religion and politics in the Philippines

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Jumel G. Estrañero |

Break from the weekday government tasks, one of my lectures in the university (as a sideline during Saturdays) got me into an interesting discussion before the semester ended last month. One of my students told me about the danger of Duterte’s remark on the revolutionary government (RevGov). That student told me that all will be puppets of Duterte if this negotiation will lead to its success.

Another student supported this claim by saying that there is a new President of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). As I remember, yes there is. I recall that last November 28th, the Roman Catholic Church whose gentle Archbishop of Davao, Most Reverend Romeo Valles, assumed presidency of CBCP. That was the day before the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) assembly in Mindanao staged President Duterte to speak to them regarding the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

From this, I believe that RevGov is still undermined since there are still more issues to tackle. First Marawi rehabilitation, if BBL is to be passed or not, the on-going dilemma of South China Sea

So what’s the point? I do not know if my students were just too imaginative with our subject (International Negotiation) wherein most of them think that the revolutionary government will come to existence ASAP since the influence and power play hand-in hand. As I see it, they might be referring to the common denominator among Duterte’s support group.

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Here, I am not sure but they might be referring to the ‘sameness´of regional clout. The Senate President, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and the new chairman designate of the Commission on Elections are all from Mindanao. And in relation to the abovementioned, for the first time in the nation’s history in general, Presidents of powerful institutions (state of affairs and church conglomerates) are coming from the same city in Mindanao.

I play chess. And what is good about it is that you have all the power to position your power players and hide your weaker players. From the assertion of VP Robredo and Liberal Party that Duterte is planning to establish a Revolutionary Government, the connection of players are also of due consideration. But let us also not forget that even if Duterte and Valles are personal friends, one is not necessarily an accomplice.

One of my students told me about the danger of Duterte’s remark on the revolutionary government (RevGov). That student told me that all will be puppets of Duterte if this negotiation will lead to its success.

Second, I remember one analyst and law student told me that by playing with the idea of RevGov, this is going to be a self-destructive agenda since the constitutionality will also be questioned. In reality, RevGov is not possible unless there will be an absolute dissolution of the existing charter and that would be replaced by new provisions. Supposed that will happen which, I believe, will incite juggernauts in the Congress and Senate – a series of tirades of chaos in the political platform.

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Worst is, third party interventionists only propagandize and tailor fit the words of the President likened to Henry III and Henry VIII; being subject of tyrannical command to their men as noted in the annals of England’s political and religious history. I do not know if Duterte can also be identified as one dictator as the common call of battlecry or shibboleth of activists and militants combined in Mendiola and other cities wherein they consider the words of Duterte as self-serving for personal gains.

From this, I believe that RevGov is still undermined since there are still more issues to tackle. First Marawi rehabilitation, if BBL is to be passed or not, the on-going dilemma of South China Sea and threat groups, and more. These things are deemed in demand of attention rather than jumping into conclusions circling from personal interest.


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