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8月25日のまにら新聞から

Palace says call for revolutionary gov't part of free speech; not inciting to sedition

[ 338 words|2020.8.25|英字 (English) ]

Malacañang said on Monday that a call for a revolutionary government is part of free speech and could not even be considered as inciting to sedition.

In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Duterte administration does not support the revolutionary government being espoused by the People's National Coalition for Revolutionary Government and Charter Change, a group of Duterte supporters.

"Our court is consistent when it comes to its position on the right to free speech that there should be a clear and present danger to suppress such expression. And there's no clear and present danger," he said.

He explained that Duterte is a leader of a constitutional government and "there is no need for a revolutionary government as of now."

Some quarters, including Senator Joel Villanueva, said the call for a revolutionary govenrment amounts to inciting to sedition under the Revised Penal Code and those behind the move could be charged.

Roque reiterated that Duterte is more focused on the government's efforts against coronavirus.

"Well, the President is focused on COVID-19 responses now and he is consistent in saying that he's looking forward to the end of his term. And he wants to live a quiet life again. I think it's moot and academic as far as the President is concerned because he is a constitutional government and come 2022, he is welcoming transferring the rein of power to his duly-elected successor whoever he is," he explained.

While Duterte has been pushing for Charter change in order to shift to a federal form of government, Roque said it should not be through a revolutionary government.

He cited that under the Constitution, the modes of changing the Charter could either be through constitutional convention, constitutional assembly or people's initiative.

"Any of the three will do to push for Charter Change for federalism," he said.

The group calling for a revolutionary government wanted Duterte to lead the country until 2021, after which elections shall be held under the new Constitution in a federal form of government. Celerina Monte/DMS