Malacañang said on Wednesday it respects the planned investigation by the Philippine of the National Police (PNP) of persons behind the revolutionary government initiative despite the absence of imminent threat from the group.
“That’s the discretion of the police authorities and we respect that,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said on CNN Philippines.
“In fact, whether it is inciting sedition or not is really the realm of the police and prosecutors at the DOJ (Department of Justice). But from what I’ve seen, there’s no clear and present danger,” he added.
Roque said the Palace does not support the revolutionary government proposal but recognizes that the group’s opinion is part of free speech.
Asked if the group’s statement was tantamount to inciting to sedition, Roque said: “There has to be clear and present danger and I don’t see any clear and present danger if you simply advocate and are in a position really to threaten the existence of the Republic.”
“In the same way, the left has said many, many things against the President.. Let it be because that’s still protected speech,” he added.
PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa recently said the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CID) will lead the investigation to determine any basis in filing charges against the persons pushing for the revolutionary government leading to a possible arrest. Gamboa said such a political stunt was ill-timed as the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic.
A group of the President’s supporters has launched over the weekend a movement to install a revolutionary government supposedly to be led by Duterte until the end of his term. Such a revolutionary government will supposedly help hasten the shift to federalism in the country. The event was reportedly organized by Mayor Rodrigo Road Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC),a group that supported Duterte’s 2016 presidential bid.
On Tuesday, President Duterte has denied involvement in the move to install a revolutionary government, adding that he does not know the group behind it. “Marami ngayon may naglalabas — revolutionary government. Tapos ako ang sinasabi na… Wala akong pakialam niyan, wala akong kilala na mga tao na ‘yan at hindi ko ‘yan trabaho (There are reports about the proposed revolutionary government and that I will supposedly lead… I don’t care about that. I don’t know any of those people and that’s not my job),” Duterte said in his televised address.
In his remarks on television Wednesday, Roque admitted the President actually knows the MRRD-NECC but does not necessarily know all members.
He also pointed out that a different organization, not the MRRD, is apparently spearheading the call for a revolutionary government.
“He knows MRRD. I dont think this is officially an event of the MRRD, otherwise, MRRD will publicly own up to this revolutionary government which it has not. I understand it is a different organization spearheading it,” he said.
“What is important, the President has said he is not supporting a revolutionary government because, obviously, he is a constitutional government,” he added.