Rev Gov

Sun.Star Davao - - BUSINESS -

Pres­i­dent Duterte has re­peated of­ten enough that he’d rather give up the pres­i­dency peace­fully than re­sort to Mar­tial Law to re­tain it. He has also ex­pressed re­luc­tance to push fed­er­al­ism through a Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Gov­ern­ment (Rev Gov).

Yet whether we be­lieve him or not is re­ally be­side the point. His pop­u­lar sup­port in the face of the oli­garchy’s steely re­sis­tance to fed­er­al­ism as a means of es­tab­lish­ing a truly and fully rep­re­sen­ta­tive democ­racy might yet force him to de­clare a rev­o­lu­tion­ary gov­ern­ment.

It is, there­fore, time to dis­abuse our­selves of our fear of this off-hand scary and seem­ingly vi­o­lence-prone road to­wards so­cial change.

First off, Rev Govs are demo­cratic republics founded on the prin­ci­ples of pop­u­lar sovereignty, the rule of law, and rep­re­sen­ta­tive democ­racy. This is so pre­cisely be­cause his­tor­i­cally rev­o­lu­tion­ary republics have been es­tab­lished to re­place the one-man or one-class (no­bil­ity) ab­so­lute rule of monar­chies.

Next off, al­though his­tor­i­cally Rev Govs were es­tab­lished through armed pop­u­lar up­ris­ings, the most fa­mous of which was the an­gry French mob’s storm­ing of the Bastille (the prison that sym­bol­ized ab­so­lute royal author­ity) there have been, al­beit few, peace­ful tran­si­tions from monar­chism to re­pub­li­can­ism by way of a peo­ple’s ref­er­en­dum. A re­cent ex­am­ple is the 69 per­cent vote of the Greeks against King Con­stan­tine II.

In the Philip­pines, there is no monar­chy but there is no demo­cratic repub­lic ei­ther ex­cept in form and the­ory. In prac­tice, we are ruled by an oli­garchy, an elite mi­nor­ity that has con­sis­tently failed to steer the coun­try’s eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural poli­cies to­wards the greater good for the big­ger num­ber as is the goal of a truly demo­cratic repub­lic.

Hence, a demo­cratic repub­lic still needs to be es­tab­lished in the coun­try. This can be done peace­fully by a ref­er­en­dum on fed­er­al­ism, as­sum­ing, of course, that its char­ter con­tains the es­sen­tials of rep­re­sen­ta­tive democ­racy, namely, rule of the ma­jor­ity and pro­por­tion­ate rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

But even if it has to be es­tab­lished by Rev Gov, it will only be­come vi­o­lent if the oli­garchy de­cided to take up arms against it and not budge from their un­demo­cratic po­si­tion of rep­re­sent­ing the mi­nor­ity yet de­cid­ing for the ma­jor­ity.

This sham democ­racy is the root cause of the poverty of ma­jor­ity of Filipinos. Hope­fully, the rul­ing oli­garchs will come around and help es­tab­lish a truly demo­cratic repub­lic where the ma­jor­ity rule and all sec­tors are pro­por­tion­ately rep­re­sented.

Oth­er­wise, we can only hope that peo­ple’s pent-up anger will not burst into an up­ris­ing. But be­cause “peace is not the ab­sence of war but the pres­ence of jus­tice,” the free­dom move­ments of the Mid­dle East re­mind us that our time is yet to come.

There are cham­pi­ons who are not wor­thy of em­u­la­tion and do not de­serve ad­mi­ra­tion for their con­duct and char­ac­ter.

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