RevGov the final solution — ho hum! DU30 News Aggregator

RevGov the final solution — ho hum! Featured

HERE we go again. In this final half of DU30’s presidency, no topic is more compelling nor ubiquitous than that of a revolutionary government (RevGov). For why this is so, we need to revisit his accession to power in 2016. This maverick of a local politician from nowhere fired the imagination of fringe voters with his simple palatable agenda coated in colorful language never before heard in any political engagement, nor in polite society, much less in one crowded with monochromatic presidential aspirants.

It was therefore logical that cynical voters, already inured to candidates’ achromatic program of governance and corrupt officials’ broken promises gathered to him in droves.

These heightened expectations, some of which were surprisingly eventually fulfilled, were what sustained the high statistical 87 percent support by the masses for the Deegong; and fueling the fiction that the President, to accomplish what he promised his constituents, needs more time than that allotted to him constitutionally. Thus, the pretext of an idea of allowing him a continuation of his regime through perhaps an extra-constitutional pathway.

By now the masses are more than conversant with the riveting arguments in favor of a declaration of a RevGov: illusionary quick fixes to centuries-old problems of poverty and injustice; impunity and disdain for the rule of law; deficits of our democracy or what is left of it after it goes through the wringer of traditional politics. The Filipino has a culturally apt phrase for espousing desperation — “kapit sa patalim.”

THE e oligarchy’s folly

But lately, the seemingly innocuous arbitration award to the oligarchic-owned water monopolies accentuated the contracts’ onerous provisions projecting this class into the forefront of public consciousness and derision, with a little help from the President’s paroxysms, offering DU30 the opportunity to fuel up the brewing contrived fight between him and the oligarchy. The people’s incompetence to appreciate the complex role of the oligarchy in the politico-economic life of the country was further exacerbated by the President demonizing his adversaries.

To recall, just days into his administration, DU30 boldly declared: “The plan is to destroy the oligarchs embedded in the government.” The lines were drawn earlier in his regime. But RevGov is now again being forced into the forefront as a fight between the Deegong and the oligarchy — for all the wrong reasons!

DDS/Fist bumpers’ take

As the cacophony belongs primarily to those of DU30’s base, I will lend a substantial part of my column to a more circumspect colleague of the Deegong who was with him from the very start, John Raña. The guidelines for a successful declaration of a RevGov, though solely his own opinion, may reflect the position of the clear-headed members of the Duterte Diehard Supporters (DDS)/fist bumpers. Raña wrote:

“Public support imperative. A PR campaign must be in place… and the messaging must be clear about the objectives…the rules, the path to normalcy, etc. Expect vigorous and vicious objections and attacks from the opposition, certain religious groups, the left, libertarians, constitutionalists and some foreign governments…

“Rev-Gov short and necessary for real reforms. It must be long enough to institute reforms but short enough to preclude abuses from rearing its ugly head.

“Clear path to normalcy. The path to normalcy must include Charter change with federalism as its main feature. Consider a very strong anti-political dynasty provision that exempts no one including the incumbents’ families.

“Cleanse the bureaucracy. Change the systems that allowed and perpetrated corruption. Revamp the bureaucracy starting with the mass courtesy resignation of all presidential appointees. The President may form a presidential talent search committee to find the best and the brightest Filipinos.

“New constitution. Conduct a plebiscite on the new federal constitution. (Federalism proponents let’s get back to work!)”


The proponent is no doubt a patriot although conflicted as to the precise role of DU30 as a “strongman” in a weak state. That a quick fix can be delivered singularly by a charismatic leader is a fallacy. We have oftentimes erroneously equated a vulgar display of braggadocio that instills fear as a demonstration of political will. What DU30 needs is to develop a coterie of independent-minded professionals in a war footing who can “speak truth to power.” In this he has failed.

Once RevGov is unleashed, you can’t control the time within which to institute “good reforms” or prevent abuses of power. RevGov, by definition is the application of untrammeled power. It is a wild ride on a tiger’s back! But when and how to dismount is the conundrum.

Cleansing the bureaucracy is not a simple matter of just decapitating people. It is the substitution of the correct public values buttressed by the right workable system. And the path to normalcy is not assured if one must rely on Congress, albeit bloated with DU30’s allies to enact a new constitution, much less appending an ‘anti-dynasty’ provision. Unless RevGov does away with Congress altogether.

I am reprinting abridged versions of my past columns on RevGov. Duterte has always looked up to Marcos as an exemplar of a dictator; that which he will become in a revolutionary government. But Marcos had so many things going for him.

“Marcos…had the time to accomplish [what he wanted] …with the genius of foresight, he put in place the infrastructure for his eventual authoritarian rule. He dismantled decades-old political parties and established his ruling Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL). He clamped down on the press and the media. He emasculated the old oligarchy but replaced it with his own cronies. More importantly, he seeded the military with his handpicked men that allowed him to unleash his dogs of war from the barracks when he declared martial law.” (“To RevGov or not to RevGov,” The Manila Times, Nov 2, 2017.)

Just three years into his regime, DU30 does not have Marcos’ advantage of time or brilliance to pull this through. Thus, the RevGov option is dangerously double edged.

“This is the downside of the proposition. But to some, this may be preferable than the slow strangulation that the elite and the oligarchy has been applying to the body politic that has caused grave disparity between the ‘have and the have-nots’ and in the process has institutionalized poverty

“The upside to RevGov, if successful could unshackle the Filipino from the decades of stark poverty, deprivation and injustice. But the threat alone will put sense into the oligarchy as they can’t afford to lose all. The imminent danger could precipitate real concessions and negotiations as the oligarchy could be destroyed, and a new governance paradigm may emerge. The Deegong knows how to play the zero-sum game. And this is the ultimate!
“But would RevGov be sustained by the likes of the Deegong? Does he have the temperament and the moral spine to carry it through?… DU30 is 75 and tired. He is old, maybe narcissistic, a trait that will help him contemplate on his legacy. Nothing defeats a man’s biases better than a glimpse of the specter of his mortality.” (“RevGov — the endgame,” The Manila Times, Sept 26, 2018.)

But if he does declare RevGov, blood will flow!000
Read 736 times Last modified on Friday, 03 January 2020 23:42
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