Revolutionary gov’t threat just metaphor — Sotto

Vicente Sotto III

SENATE President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III just shrugged off the latest threat of President Rodrigo Duterte that he would declare a revolutionary government if he is “pushed to the wall” saying it was just “a metaphor.”

Sotto said that the President was just frustrated with the state of criminality and illegal drugs in the country.

“He is just frustrated. I’m sure he will have a better outlook once his programs versus criminality becomes more successful. Suspension of the writ has proper constitutional safeguards while a revolutionary war is a metaphor,” Sotto said.

But opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan has a contrasting view.  He said that instead of threatening his critics, the President must go after bigtime drug lords and also his appointees at the Bureau of Customs whom he accused of repeatedly bringing tons of shabu into the country.

He said that if these big time drug lords are arrested, Duterte will finally prove that his drug war is for real.

He added that the President’s critics will be silenced not by threats but by his sterling performance in going after drug syndicates.

On Thursday, Duterte scored Senator Franklin Drilon for advising the government to exercise caution in implementing the President’s directive to review all contracts and loan agreements including those with China.

“I have enough problems with criminality, drugs, rebellion and all pero pag ako ang pinaabot ninyo ng sagad, I will declare the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and I will arrest all of you. Kasama kayo sa mga rebelde, mga kriminal pati ang mga durogista. Then pahirapan mo ako? I will declare a revolutionary war until the end of my term, then pasensyahan tayo,” Duterte said.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday defended President Duterte over his supposed threat to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and declare a revolutionary government.

“As a lawyer, (the President) knows the scope and limitations of his constitutional powers and will always act in accordance therewith,” Guevarra said.

He pointed out that the President was just “exasperated about endless roadblocks to his attempts to protect people’s interests.”

Guevarra cited Duterte’s order to review onerous contracts by government with private companies.

“For example, he orders a review of contracts containing terms that are perceived to be onerous to the government and the people. Some critics warn him to be careful in doing so, as it may send wrong signals to investors, lenders. The President gets angry, because his intention in ordering such review is to protect the interests of the general public, not those of the rich,” Guevarra said.

Meanwhile, the National Union of People’s Lawyers said President Duterte’s threat to suspend the writ of habeas corpus has no legal, constitutional, and factual basis.

With Hector Lawas