For at least five times which began last week, Philippine president Rodrigo Roa Duterte has repeatedly denied ever planning for the establishment of a revolutionary government. In his speech before the anti-graft summit by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) today, Duterte again denied ever thinking of creating such a kind of government for fears of being ousted from power by the military.
Not content, Malacanan thru new Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque issued an official statement that there is simply no legal basis for Mr. Duterte’s revolutionary government. Calls for a revolutionary government heated up after Mr. Duterte’s supporters intensified their grassroots recruitment efforts in hopes of reportedly convincing the tough-talking Chief Executive of declaring such a government.
The idea of a “revgov” is nothing new. Since his assumption to office, several of Mr. Duterte’s supporters had expressed desire for Mr. Duterte to just consider managing such a government to expedite alleged reforms which the maverick president promised to his 16 million supporters during the 2016 elections. As of this writing, Mr. Duterte has since failed in many of his electoral promises, especially in the handling of the highly controversial anti-drugs campaign which reportedly led to the killings of at least 13,000 people, including teenagers.
Mr. Duterte also failed to live up to his promise of ending the Communist insurgency. Several attempts by the Government peace panel led by Jesus Dureza were made with leaders of the CPP-NPA-NDF exiled in the Netherlands. However, talks were scuttled after Mr. Duterte protested alleged attacks staged by Communist rebels which led to the deaths of several soldiers and cops. Mr. Duterte also echoed the concerns made by his defense secretary Lorenzana who accused the Communists of taking advantage of the peace talks by recruiting more members and bolstering its armed strength by re-arming the New People’s Army.
This is not the only promise which Mr. Duterte had failed to accomplish. He boasted that if he becomes president, Mr. Duterte would ride a jet ski and plant the Philippine flag in one of the islets claimed by the Philippines off the Spratlys island. Instead of doing this, and inspite of getting a favourable ruling from the United Nations Council on the Laws of the Seas, Mr. Duterte cozied with China and even made several deals with the emerging superpower, some of them for funding his grand infrastructure projects. He likewise pivoted towards Russia, a traditional nemesis of the Philippines’ long-standing ally, the United States of America. Mr. Duterte praised Russia for donating more than 15,000 old Kalashnikovs which he claimed, were used by Philippine soldiers in neutralising ISIS-inspired rebels that attacked Marawi last July. (The Truth is, those guns arrived after soldiers already neutralised the Maute leaders and a day or two before the official pronouncement of Malacanan that they have successfully neutralised terrorists in Marawi City.
Mr. Duterte continues to be haunted by other electoral promises which remain, well, unfulfilled. His labor secretary Silvestre Bello failed to release an administrative order ending the practice of hiring contracting-only workers.
The worse performance which Mr. Duterte did in his nearly two years of managing the affairs of the Philippine state was on the economy. Foreign and local investments moved in trickles, a stark contrast to its flow during the six year term of Mr. Duterte’s predecessor. Prices of all basic commodities have shot up, a direct consequence of the weak performance of the peso against the US dollar and other ASEAN currencies. More than 80% of government funds have been used up, and the budget deficit ballooned to US$1.7 billion as of November 2017, according to the government’s budget and banking chiefs.
Such actions by Mr. Duterte is not exactly unique. He has since been known to say something and meant a different thing. Probably, Mr. Duterte knows he faces tough opposition from his political enemies whose network is getting bigger every single day. Truthfully, Mr. Duterte has no one to blame but himself. He has allowed himself to be dominated by several political and economic interests that he is slowly losing himself. This suggestion of having a revgov is a veiled attempt at reclaiming power. Mr. Duterte knows that he is now just serving the interests of the elites who financed his campaign. And deep down, Mr. Duterte hates his position but he has no where else to go.
Sooner or later, Mr. Duterte has to face the music. And by then, he will realised that he is just alone to face the wrath of the people.