Uphold the Constitution, oppose a power grab
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We Filipinos ask our soldiers and national leaders to uphold the Constitution and oppose efforts to establish authoritarian rule.
With President Duterte's expressed plan to declare a revolutionary government, we Filipinos are facing the greatest threat to democracy and freedom since the Marcos dictatorship. Essentially a power grab, the establishment of a revolutionary government headed by Duterte would give him absolute control by eliminating checks and balances provided by a functioning Congress and Supreme Court and other Constitutional bodies and removing from us citizens the protection of the Bill of Rights. As dictator, he would have the power of life and death over Filipinos, much as Ferdinand Marcos did.
Duterte, as revolutionary leader, cannot rule 100,000,000 Filipinos on 7,100 islands effectively without the support of our 500,000 soldiers who could implement his orders. Our Armed Forces through Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana must show him the logistical difficulty of such an enterprise, the threat to national security of a breakdown of law and order amidst threats from ISIS-like brigands and foreign countries, and the harm to our national and economic interests that would be brought about by the destruction of institutions it took our taxpayers and public servants decades to build.
If despite sound advice, President Duterte still chooses to declare a revolutionary government, we ask our soldiers in the Armed Forces to stick to the Constitution and immediately support the oath-taking of the Vice-President who is next in its prescribed line of succession. Succession must be seamless. There must be almost no gap between the two events above to prevent the breakdown of law and order, a civil war, the repeat of dictatorship and plunder, or the invasion of our islands and seas by foreign elements that would exploit such a leviathan political crisis.
Let us defend our Constitution and oppose President Duterte's planned revolutionary government by signing and sharing this petition. We are sending this to National Defense Secretary Lorenzana with copies furnished to Vice-President Leni Robredo, Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, Congressman Kit Belmonte, Senator Risa Hontiveros, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, KARAPATAN Executive Director Tinay Palabay, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) Secretary-General Rose Trajano, International Commission of Jurists Senior Legal Adviser Emerlynne Gil, and others.
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