MGA Manananggol Laban sa EJK (Manlaban), an alliance of lawyers, judges and law students, expressed serious concern over President Duterte’s threat of a declaration of a revolutionary government (RevGov).
Several rallies, both pro-and anti-RevGov, are expected to take place in several cities nationwide today, in time with the 154th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, the father of Philippine revolution.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the group said despite President Duterte’s confusing pronouncements, the threat is already seen as serious “since it is already construed as an official announcement.”
“We fear that such a ‘revolutionary government’ is an unbridled attempt to centralize power upon President Duterte,” the group said.
The legal eagles also expressed their worry over increasing human rights violations, adding that Mr. Duterte has shown “intolerance for dissent and disregard for human rights even now while the Constitution is still operative.”
The President had previously threatened to declare a revolutionary government to quash his enemies.
However, Vice President Leni Robredo, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero all expressed opposition to the President’s supposed move.
Mr. Duterte later retracted his own pronouncement, saying the country would not benefit from it.
In the same statement, Manlaban also expressed serious concern over Mr. Duterte’s threats to arrest members of certain legal organizations for allegedly conspiring with the underground rebel movement.
“As the President and his fellow lawyers in government know, mere suspicion of conspiracy with those engaged in rebellion cannot justify warrantless arrests, especially with the repeal of Republic Act No. 1700, or the Anti-Subversion Law,” Manlaban said.
The group’s convenors include personalities from different political and legal backgrounds, including former senator Rene Saguisag, former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, former Ateneo School of Government dean Antonio La Viña, and Free Legal Assistance Group chair Jose Manuel Diokno. /INQUIRER.NET