By BENJIE OLIVEROS
A week ago, President Duterte threatened to declare a revolutionary government purportedly to counter destabilization moves by the Reds (communists), the Yellows (Liberal Party), the elite, and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Once he declares a revolutionary government, he threatened to arrest those who he accuses of destabilizing his government. He said he would not declare martial law because he has to pass through Congress to be able to do so.
The following day, he said that if he declares a revolutionary government, it is not meant to perpetuate himself in power. He said he does not even enjoy his position as it entails hard work and would gladly abdicate it if given the opportunity to do so.
Well, on January 30, 1970, President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. told student leader Edgar Jopson that he is constitutionally bound not to run for a third term as president, but he declared Martial Law after a little more than two and a half years and held on to power for 14 more years, after being in power for eight years already beginning 1965.
Now if it were true that the groups that President Duterte mentioned are all part of the destabilization plot, they would be strange bedfellows indeed.
First of all, these groups never did get along together. When Benigno “Noynoy”Aquino III ran for president, he largely ignored the Left. And during his presidency, the peace talks did not move an inch. Neither would the Reds and the elite (such as Lucio Tan) form an alliance as they have been at odds in labor struggles and other national issues. The Yellows and elite could unite but they do not have the warm bodies to fill up protest areas such as Edsa or Mendiola.
As for the CIA, well it could work with anybody. But the Left would never work with them. Would the elite, the Yellows and the CIA work together in a destabilization plot? Yes that could work. But doing so such as launching another people power uprising would weaken the political system, something that both the elite and the CIA would not want to happen. The late Cory Aquino, when she was still alive, publicly criticized then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo after the latter’s administration was enmeshed in a lot of corruption scandals, including allegations of rigging the 2004 election, but she stopped short of calling for another people power uprising.
President Duterte particularly singled out the Left, citing the claim of the military that the Left has been one of the most active in destabilizing the government. However, in July, President Duterte even belittled the capability of communists to take over the government. He challenged them to fight the government for another 50 years.
So is there a destabilization plot?
Even Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Public Information Office chief Colonel Edgar Arevalo denied any knowledge of a destabilization plot. Only Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio came to his father’s defense and claimed that the information about the destabilization plot came from the office of the opposition and from intelligence reports. That again is a bit of a stretch.
Is Sara Duterte-Carpio insinuating that they have a mole inside the office of the opposition? If it came from intelligence reports, why did Defense Secretary Lorenzana and Col. Edgar Arevalo of the AFP deny any knowledge of it? Where does the Left figure in all this, since President Duterte claims they are in the thick of destabilization efforts?
There are too many loopholes in the claims of the Duterte administration. If there is no imminent threat, is President merely paranoid? Or worse, is President Duterte making this up to pave the way for the declaration of a one-man-dictatorship, through the declaration of a revolutionary government or martial law?
Anybody could hazard a guess. But one thing is for sure, if President Duterte declares a revolutionary government to institute a dictatorship, he could not keep himself in power for 20 years, just like what his idol the late dictator Marcos did. After all, there have been two people power uprisings already.