By Raïssa Robles
It is now turning out that the political exercise going on at the Luneta Grandstand right now is not simply a rally to pressure Vice President Leni Robredo to resign.
It is the first open attempt to gather support for Duterte to turn his democratically-elected leadership into a dictatorship. It is what Marcos, his role model, did in 1972.
Eerily, the petition is urging Duterte to commit a coup d’état on the presidency – which is what Marcos also did – and impose a revolutionary government.
The petition asks that this revolutionary government scrap the 1987 Philippine Constitution and revert the country to the 1973 Constitution – the charter that Marcos forced the 1972 Constitutional Convention into approving.
The 1973 Constitution, which the petition refers to, made it constitutional and legal for the President to arrest and jail anyone for years without charges, legislate laws, muzzle the Supreme Court and do pretty much anything without accountability.
In short, the 1973 Constitution allowed the President to govern as a TYRANT.
The petition now being circulated in Luneta claims that the revolutionary period would only last two years and set up a federal form of government.
There is ABSOLUTELY NO GUARANTEE that once you give a tyrant all the powers, he would abide by that time frame or do what you wish. By that time, there is nothing to prevent him from doing anything because the 1987 Constitution would by then be gone.
If that happens, Duterte would be THE POWER all to himself, with no checks and balances and no accountability.
Marcos’ Martial Law lasted all of 14 years until he was chased out of the country. By then his regime had killed and tortured thousands of Filipinos, stolen billions of dollars and all but destroyed Philippine democratic institutions.
The 1981 alleged lifting of Martial Law by Marcos was only a paper lifting.
I know. I was there, right in Malacanang Palace where I watched the dictator himself announce the “lifting” of Martial Law.
Below is the petition now being circulated, which absolutely violates the oath of office that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte took on June 30, 2016 when he said:
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God.”
The early evening crowd at the Luneta rally:
Remember the bold actress Vivian Velez?
At the rally, she was pressing the crowd to urge Duterte to declare a revolutionary government. To watch Vivian Velez, just copy and paste the link below on your browser.