One more Duterte option: declare revolutionary gov’t Print
Friday, 26 May 2017 10:42

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Do not go out to the fields or walk on the roads, for the enemy has a sword, and there is terror on every side…” (Jeremiah 6:25, the Holy Bible).

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DUTERTE CRITICS UNAWARE OF TERROR THREAT: The usual critics of President Duterte have gone to town once again deriding his declaration of martial law in Mindanao 10 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in the aftermath of the violence and mayhem perpetrated by terrorist groups in Marawi City.  They say it was merely a part of his overall plan to really place Southern Philippines and ultimately the whole country under his one-man rule.

Well, they can say whatever they want to say, for that is the essence of democracy which, undeniably and indeed regrettably, is working in the Philippines. The unsinkable  truth however is that, the terror that comes from terrorists groups—such as the one that is taking place in Marawi City even while this column is being written—is deadly real, not only in the Philippines but in almost every country in the world today.

The human race is facing an explosion of violence and terroristic acts in a magnitude that has never been seen before. The bombing of a concert in the United Kingdom just two or three days ago where 22 have been confirmed killed, and the shooting war and arson that erupted in Marawi City on Tuesday, are eloquent proof that terrorism is here to stay, and must be dealt with firmly and fast if we are to triumph over it!

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MARTIAL LAW IN JUST ONE OPTION VS. TERROR: Declaring martial law, actually, is just one of the options open to the President under the emasculated 1987 Constitution. As the commander-in-chief of all armed forces in the country, he has the right to call such armed forces, whenever it becomes necessary, to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.

Then, in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may declare martial law in the entire country or in any part thereof, for a period not exceeding sixty days. He may also suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus—which writ  gives the citizens the right not to be arrested unless there is a warrant against them issued by the courts. These options, however, are greatly emasculated, considering the duty of the President to report to Congress on what he had done.

Unknown to many, the President also has a more radical option, which is not in any manner subject to the Constitutional limitations that are found under the Cory Aquino Constitution. This more radical option is declaring a “revolutionary government”—which means scuttling the Constitution and all other laws, to give way to a more firm and absolute rule by the President.

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DUTERTE CAN SCUTTLE 1987 CHARTER, DECLARE “REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT”: Throwing away the Constitution and setting up of a revolutionary government where only the President rules is not new in the Philippines. Under more peaceful and therefore less compelling circumstances, these two things have already been done in the country, by a leader who styled herself as a democracy icon, President Cory Aquino.

In the days after the ouster of President Marcos pursuant to the EDSA power grab in 1986 and after Cory had already consolidated the presidency in her hands with the aid of the United States and its lackeys in the Philippines, she set aside the then existing 1973 Constitution and put up her “Freedom Constitution”, at the same time setting up a revolutionary government.

This Cory precedent was never contested. It has therefore become part of the law of the land, which remains valid and binding up to now. I believe that the conditions prevailing today—with bold terror groups and lawless elements particularly the drug syndicates and other criminal gangs lording it over—Duterte can—and should—throw away the 1987 Constitution and install a truly “Duterte government”.

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WATCH “ANG TANGING DAAN” AT FACEBOOK: Please watch “Ang Tanging Daan”, a Bible exposition and prayer session for everyone, in English and Filipino, at  www.facebook.com/angtangingdaan.  Reactions: 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0977 805 9058. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com.