Otso Diretso senatorial candidate and election lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Friday said Vice President Leni Robredo would automatically succeed the presidency under the 1987 Constitution the moment President Rodrigo Duterte installed a “revolutionary government.”
“Once President Duterte declares a revolutionary government, he ceases to be President having divested himself of the Presidency,” Macalintal said in a statement.
“Such act will pave the way for Vice President Leni Robredo to take over the vacant position of President and assume the functions and the Office of the President,” said Macalintal, also the election lawyer of the Vice President.
“Declaring a revolutionary government would mean that President Duterte becomes the leader of a revolutionary government while Robredo becomes the leader as president of a duly constituted government,” he said.
Macalintal noted that declaring a revolutionary government is not the function of the president.
“On the other hand, it is his solemn duty under the constitution to protect our government and country from any act that would topple or put down our government,” he said.
“If President Duterte really declares a revolutionary government, then it will be a show of force between his government and the government led by Robredo, being the successor President of a democratic government,” he said.
“It will put to a test the loyalty of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as to which government they will pledge their loyalty – to the revolutionary government of Duterte or the constitutionally existing government led by Robredo as successor president as provided under our constitution,” Macalintal said.
He said the revolutionary government envisioned by Duterte cannot be compared with the revolutionary government of former President Cory Aquino “because his is just his own making or a one-man declaration of a revolutionary government or practically a mere knee-jerk reaction against his critics.”
Aquino’s revolutionary government, meanwhile, “was the result of a people’s uprising where people came together and showed their power to take over an abusive and graft-laden government,” Macalintal said.
“In a word, while President Duterte can declare a revolutionary government, it will still depend upon the people if they will accept such kind of government since the present government is the result of a democratic process as provided for under our constitution,” he said.
“And in a democratic government, sovereignty resides with the people and not with the president alone,” Macalintal said.