MANILA, Philippines – Embattled Sen. Leila de Lima believes a revolutionary government under President Duterte is not far off – even more likely than the declaration of martial law.
Speaking before students of Miriam College on Friday, De Lima said the declaration of martial law is always a possibility, but what worries her more is the emergence of a revolutionary government, which she said is far worse.
“The real target is revolutionary government because you know, martial law has to go through some legal obstacles – getting the concurrence of Congress, although this can be done because of the super-majority (in Congress),” De Lima said.
“But (revolutionary government) is also subject to judicial review by the Supreme Court. So this could be difficult, although they can also achieve that because of the constitutional requirements and limitations and the consequences are limited, you know, the suspension of privilege of writ of habeas corpus,” she added.
De Lima explained that the consequences of a revolutionary government are far broader than those under martial law.
“Revolutionary government would be much more totalitarian because it is extra-constitutional,” she said. “If it’s extra-constitutional, he can do anything. He would have absolute power. He can abolish key institutions like Congress, like the courts. They can introduce a new political system, legal system, social system, economic system – because of this bias towards the left.”
While she anticipates the President and his allies to find yet another reason to vilify her with her statements on the revolutionary government, De Lima said she does not mind anymore.
She said the prospect of a revolutionary government is scary because this is “a real threat to democracy, so we cannot remain silent.”
De Lima, who has faced regular attacks from the President and his allies in Congress, was asked what she thinks justice is for her. It is now illusory, she replied.
She stressed: “I’m a champion of justice, a firm and passionate champion of justice – just like being a champion and advocate for human rights or respect for human rights in all my capacities – because I’ve always believed justice and human rights go together. They come together. Without human rights, there could be no justice. Without justice, there can be no human rights.”
Saying she has always prayed for and tried to do justice, she added she never imagined herself becoming a victim of injustice now.
“And therefore, I’m also crying now for justice – justice from all these. And do you think I can attain justice before the DOJ (Department of Justice)? So justice has become illusory, has become elusive for me in the same manner that many have found it so in this country,” she said.
The DOJ is preparing to file still undetermined charges against De Lima on her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
(President Duterte now enjoys such high popularity in the Philippines that he might be able to do whatever he chooses…)
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