President Rodrigo Duterte
By the word itself, revolutionary tends to connote a fearful meaning and consequence. It does because it refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.
But haven’t we Filipinos been participants of revolutions against oppression and despotism in the past that made us who we are today and led us to where we are now?
The People Power uprising in 1986 or what is better known as the EDSA Revolution ended the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and catapulted Corazon Aquino to the leadership of the country.
As soon as Aquino assumed the presidency she figured out the only way she could quell pockets of resistance/defiance from Marcos supporters and be able to govern peacefully and effectively was to establish a revolutionary government.
To effect radical change she used her revolutionary powers to sacked all elected officials, abolished Congress and tore up the 1973 constitution in favor of a provisional charter.
She handpicked a commission to write a new constitution, which was ratified by plebiscite in 1987 and paved the way for elections.
Thus Aquino was revered and highly acclaimed by many Filipinos as a heroine of democracy.
While democracy continues to be vibrant in this country, our progress as a nation, however, has been stymied by poor and ineffective leadership that followed Aquino, from Ramos to Estrada to Arroyo and another Aquino.
Seeing the same traditional politicians at the helm doing the same traditional governance, the Filipino people finally made a revolutionary decision to elect in 2016 an unconventional, an out-of-the-box- politician who made a name as a stern, no-nonsense politician and mayor of Davao City by making an unsafe, corrupt and problematic place into an admirable and highly livable one.
The result was an overwhelming victory prized him by the Filipino people to do what he is capable of doing just so the country could move forward and the lives of the people uplifted. His election was a revolution in itself. Who would have thought that in our present political and electoral system a candidate without an organization and money could triumphed over those having funds and a well oiled political machinery?
Sociologist Randy David, a professor at the University of the Philippines, could never have been more right when, reflecting on the results of the 2016 elections, he said: “When candidate Duterte declared in the presidential debates that he represented the nation’s last card (huling baraha), he instantly resonated with them. They did not have to ask what the game was for which he was their last card. It was enough that he offered them something to which they could cling for hope.”
Thus, despite the negative review Duterte has been getting from the political opposition, the Catholic Church and human rights advocates on his war on drugs and the alleged extrajudicial killings resulting from it, the satisfaction and trust ratings of the president remains high. It only shows the encouragement and the confidence the people has on the president upon showing the political will not seen in other presidents before him in effecting the changes he promised the people during the campaign.
Senator Antonio Trillanes
It is not helping Duterte run the country that, while understanding the enormity of the problem the country is facing relative to drugs, corruption, criminality and narco-politics on one hand , and resolving the much dreaded Marawi crisis from spilling over in other parts of Mindanao on the other hand, still there are people the likes of Sen. Antonio Trillanes and his ilk who wants nothing but attention by spewing diatribes at Duterte and his family simply because their own political agenda cannot prosper under Duterte’s presidency.
From the very beginning Duterte has not been coy in his intention and willingness to establish a revolutionary government if he sees that there are groups of people, especially those led by politicians, opposed to his rule and who do not want him to succeed. This was a warning he wanted all and sundry to take seriously especially if their motivation was to destabilize his government.
Yet Trillanes has the stupidity and shortsightedness in saying: : “I firmly believe that Duterte’s latest threat … is not only meant to intimidate those opposing his administration, but also to divert the attention from the various controversies in which his family is involved. It is also his only way to escape accountability for his crimes by perpetuating himself in power.”
A revolutionary government is not about Duterte perpetuating himself in power. Clearly it is an assurance that with Duterte remaining in power, the country and the Filipino people will have the changes promised them for a better future ahead as he is seen to be the only one capable of making it happen.