Posts Tagged ‘rule of law’

Marco Rubio: ‘Vladimir Putin chose to interfere in US elections’

December 14, 2017

US Senator Marco Rubio, who ran against President Donald Trump during the Republican primaries, tells DW’s Zhanna Nemtsova that talk of US President Donald Trump’s impeachment over alleged Russian ties is premature.

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DW talks to US Senator Marco Rubio

DW:US President Donald Trump is making headlines across the world because of his Russia connections [the Robert Mueller-led investigation into alleged US collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election — the ed.]. What might be the final political consequences for him?

Marco RubioWell, one thing about the US, compared to Vladimir Putin’s government, is that we have a system of checks and balances and a system of rule of law. Right now there are suspicions and allegations that have been made that are being investigated by professional investigators who will make decisions based on the facts. Ultimately, we will let it play itself out and go wherever the truth takes us, that’s the way our system works.

And the people that are accused have a right to defend themselves and prove their innocence. And the government has a burden to prove that. We are not at that stage yet. But what is abundantly clear is that Vladimir Putin chose to interfere in the US elections — in my opinion, not so much to favor one candidate over another, but to sow instability. In many ways he blames the United States for the protests against corruption and against him that took place in 2009, 2010, or 2011. He thinks that the United States was behind it. In many ways, this was a part of getting revenge for that. And the other part of it is that he wanted to destabilize the US, to be able to go back and say to his own people and to the world that America is in no position to lecture anyone about democracy, as their own democracy is flawed. I don’t necessarily disagree that we’re not perfect. The difference is that our imperfections are debated openly in a free society and not presented through a state-controlled media, loyal to one person and one regime.

But I’m talking about this particular investigation. If they prove that Trump had connections to Russia, what would the consequences be for him and his political career? How big is the risk of impeachment, for example?

Well, we’re way ahead of ourselves when talking about impeachment. Right now we have an ongoing investigation, and it may lead to nothing. We’ve already seen a couple of indictments, but it may not ultimately prove that the president did something wrong. We need to wait for that. I don’t want to prejudge that — it would be unfair and prejudicial to do so. But ultimately, I am confident that those doing the investigation are serious and professional people. The truth is going to be out there for courts to look at — in the case of the individuals that have been indicted or may be indicted, and for the voters to look at — in the case of anybody else who is in elected office.

In your estimation, how big is the real impact of Russia’s interference in the US presidential election?

Trump and Putin talking to each otherDid you hear the one about me and the Democrats?

I don’t think it impacted the outcome. But we most certainly need to be aware that foreign governments tried to exploit legitimate divisions in American society for purposes of creating chaos. I think that Vladimir Putin’s ultimate goal was not the election of one candidate versus another, although he may have personally preferred one candidate. But his ultimate goal was to ensure that whoever was elected the next US president, they did so with their credibility damaged. I also think that he wanted to exploit the already existing divisions in American society for the purpose of forcing us to go through what we’re going through right now — investigations, divisive debates, talk about impeachment, and the like.

It’s destabilizing. This is a pattern that has repeated itself not simply in the US elections — we saw an attempt to do it in France, Germany, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and even potentially in Mexico this year. This is a sort of hybrid warfare type concept that he has adopted, and it is in line with his training as a KGB officer and the sort of propaganda efforts that existed during the Cold War, without the internet and without Twitter and Facebook.



Afghan drive to seize illegal weapons amid Kabul crime wave

December 13, 2017

A member of Afghan police special forces takes part in a military exercise in Logar province, Afghanistan November 30, 2017. (Reuters)

KABUL: Afghanistan launched a drive on Wednesday to seize thousands of unlicensed weapons amid an increase in crime in Kabul and other major cities.

Apart from Taliban insurgents, criminals and illegal armed groups are a major challenge to the US-backed government, which is grappling with internal dissent and is accused of failing to implement the rule of law and enact reforms since it won power in late 2014.
Afghanistan is awash with weapons, the legacy of nearly 40 years of foreign interventions and conflicts. The Interior Ministry has issued 50,000 individual arms licenses but unofficial estimates are that tens of thousands of people possess weapons.
Government ministers and members of Parliament also rely on personal armed bodyguards and government-appointed security forces for protection.
“This is the first major campaign, involving various government security entities, for collecting illegal arms, confiscating cars without number plates and stopping vehicles with tinted windows,” Najib Danesh, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told Arab News.
“The goal is to provide a secure and tranquil atmosphere for the population because both the criminal groups and the militants have been using vehicles with tinted glass and, most importantly, weapons that are in use but have no license.”
The campaign will last for several days in Kabul and will gradually be extended to other cities. Weapons held by people who do not need them will be also seized.
Crimes such as abduction, theft and murder have increased in recent months, particularly in Kabul. Last Friday night, a group of armed men killed 10 members of a family in an attack in the northern part of Kabul.
The increase in crime has prompted more business people to leave the country, and has also caused a flight of capital that is badly needed for investment.
“We have not felt secure for a long time and this initiative of the government is commendable,” said Wais Ahmad, 40, a shopkeeper.
Ahmad Shah, a schoolteacher, said: “Every now and then we hear and see how criminals and armed groups operate here, so this move is highly welcome.”
However, some critics were skeptical. Attiqullah Amarkhail, a retired army general who sometimes advises the government on security matters, said the campaign was playing to the gallery.
“The government has announced that this campaign will go on for some days. Criminal groups and individuals will probably keep a low profile or hide until the process is over, and then resurface,” he told Arab News.
“The government needs to set up night-time patrols in parts of the city where crime is high.”

McMaster Accuses Russia of Waging ‘Campaigns of Subversion’ Against the U.S.

December 13, 2017

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Tuesday described Russia as a top threat, and accused it of waging “campaigns of subversion” against the United States.

“We’re facing a threat from Russia that involves also so-called new generation warfare. And these are very sophisticated campaigns of subversion and disinformation and propaganda, using cyber tools, operating across multiple domains that attempt to divide our communities within our nation and pit them against each other and try to create a crisis of confidence,” he said at an event in Washington hosted by the Policy Exchange think tank.

They were unusual words of criticism coming from a member of an administration that wants to improve relations with Russia. They were also unusual given that the Trump administration has been plagued by accusations from critics that Russia meddled in the 2016 election in President Trump’s favor.

McMaster also called Russia a “revisionist” power that was undermining international order and stability and ignoring the sovereign rights of neighbors and the rule of law.

“They have of course used unconventional forces under the cover of conventional forces to advance their interest and have forcibly changed the borders of Europe for the first time since World War II of their invasions of Georgia and Ukraine,” he said.

He also said the administration’s upcoming National Security Strategy, which will outline the administration’s national security priorities, will be released on Monday.

Philippines: Highlights from the Supreme Court oral arguments on the drug war

December 7, 2017
One of the fatalities, who has yet to be identified, was killed in an alleged shootout with police officers in Guiguinto, Bulacan on June 16. AP/Aaron Favila, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court held three days of hearings, through oral arguments, on the petitions challenging the constitutionality of the drug war on November 21 and 28, and on December 4.

Two groups of petitioners are seeking a protection order from the high court over the ruthless killings of their loved ones and of people in their community.

Aside from the writ of amparo against the police, petitioners are also asking for the issuance of a temporary restraining order on the PNP’s drug war operations.


Aileen Almora asked the SC to stop extrajudicial killings that critics attribute to the nationwide war on drugs. Almora’s brother, Ryan Dave, was killed in an anti-dug operation.

Rowena Appari’s son was killed in a home invasion. Jefferson Soriano was shot several times, but survived.

They were represented by lawyer Chel Diokno of the Free Legal Assistance Group.

A second petition was filed by members of a religious order in San Andres Bukid, Manila, where 38 petitioners claim the existence of “systemic violence”.

They were represented by Center for International Law.

Lawyer Rommel Butuyan faced the high court for the oral arguments.


The respondents in the petition are:

  • Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Chief of the Philippine National Police
  • Undersecretary Eduardo Año of the Department of Interior and Local Government
  • Director General Aaron Aquino of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency
  • Superintendent Joel Coronel, chief of the Manila Police District
  • Other members of the PNP

Solicitor General Jose Calida represented the petitioners.

In his comment filed before the SC began oral arguments, the government’s chief legal counsel said that the drug war is being “emasculated and undermined” by petitions of the families who lost their loved ones in the violent police operations.

He reiterated this statement before the high court and claimed the petitions are destabilization acts against the Duterte administration.

The court summoned Dela Rosa, Aquino, and Undersecretary Catalino Uy, as well as the other members of the police force and PDEA for the second day of the oral arguments

Central to the petitions are PNP CMC 2016-16 for the Project Double Barrel and the DILG memorandum circular 2017-112 on Masa Masid.

Here are some of the issues debated by the justices, petitioners and respondents:

Barangay list

Under the DILG “Masa Masid,” a list of suspected drug users and sellers is drawn up from names put in a community drop box.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio raised: “The barangay chair can include his political enemies there?”

Butuyan said yes, since the list is submitted in confidence. He added that the residents would not know, except for some instances, about their names being included in the list.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno also quizzed Calida on the list.

She asked: “Is the list subject to habeas data petition? If a person feels he is on the list, can he file a habeas data petition?”

The writ of habeas data is a remedy for any individual “whose right to privacy in life, liberty or security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act of any official or employee, or of a private individual or entity engaged in the gathering, collecting or storing of data or information.”

Calida said that the government “will invoke national security,” adding “there are certain matters like top secrets that cannot be divulged.”

What does ‘neutralize’ in the memorandum mean?

The Execution section of the PNP memo states: “The PNP intends to equally address illegal drug problems in the barangays and at the same time pursue the neutralization of illegal drug personalities.”

Diokno raised before the justices: “What we question is why they have to add the word negation… which has no counterpart in law.”

“By its language, it can be construed by the officers on the ground to authorize killing that is not allowed in our system,” Diokno also said.

Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza said: “You have a situation where a government circular contains vague terms which can be taken to mean as license to kill, and you are saying that is unconstitutional, yes?”
Diokno answered in affirmative.

Dela Rosa, during the third hearing of the consolidated petitions, told justices that he has never ordered his officers to kill anyone.

Verbal orders?

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio started his interpellation of Calida on the third day of the hearing, remarking on several pronouncements by President Rodrigo Duterte telling the police to go ahead and kill drugs suspects. The justice asked if these orders, delivered in Duterte’s trademark freestyle speeches, are guidance for the police.

Calida replied that he has no personal knowledge of the pronouncements and is not in place to answer the question.

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, while grilling Calida, pointed out that the the memorandum explicitly states that it emanated from a verbal order from Duterte.

Listed as the first item of reference in the PNP memorandum is: “Pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte to get rid of illegal drugs during the first six months of his term.”

Street peddlers vs. drug lord

Section 3 of the PNP memorandum circular on Oplan Double Barrel explicitly states that there are three transnational drug organizations operating in the Philippines.

“Chinese or Filipino-Chinese drug syndicates dominate the drug market in the country,” the PNP memorandum stated. It added that these Chinese syndicates “facilitate production, manufacturing and bulk smuggling of dangerous drugs in the country.”

Carpio, in his interpellation of Calida, asked if there have been Chinese or Filipino Chinese drug lords neutralized by the police since July 1, 2016.

Calida said 418 Chinese suspects have been arrested, stressing none have been killed.

Violations of rights

PNP’s Operation Double Barrel pertains to two projects: Oplan Tokhang (house-to-house visitation) and Project High-Value Targets.

The justices asked the petitioners if the execution of the two orders violates the Bill of Rights.

Carpio asked Diokno: “When the police conduct case build up just because you refuse entry, that violates the right to privacy because you may refuse entry, correct?”

Diokno answered in the affirmative.

Leonen, meanwhile stated that the Oplan Tokhang setup violates the right against self-incrimination, right to custodial interrogation, and the right to domicile.

He also said that if threats are given to those who refuse entry to their residence, it may be violation of the anti-torture law.

Calida, however, stressed that the police, during visitation, only stay at the gates.

He added that if the residents refuse entry, the police will move to the next door.

Death investigation

Carpio ordered the solicitor general to submit the records of the 3,800 “deaths under investigation” that the police are looking into.

He asked the following information to be submitted with the memoranda:

  • gender, ages of the killed
  • place and time of operations
  • name of police leader and members who participated
  • pre-operations plan
  • post-operation report
  • whether search warrants or arrest warrants were issued
  • names of the representatives issued

The Court allowed the parties to submit their respective memoranda 60 days from December 5, the last day of the hearings.

After the parties submit their memoranda, the case is deemed submitted for decision.

Philippines President Duterte Puts Philippine National National Police (PNP) Back Into Drug War — They have a human rights app now — Returning to dead body counts?

December 6, 2017
The Catholic Church sees the President’s order as a ‘bad move,’ but presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says the PDEA remains the lead agency in the war on drugs, with the police only providing active support
 / 07:28 AM December 06, 2017
PNP, other law enforcement agencies ordered to help PDEA in drug war

Saying there was a “notable resurgence in illegal drugs,” President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday ordered the Philippine National Police to actively support the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the war on drugs.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the PDEA remained the lead agency in the war on drugs.

The PNP, the military and other law enforcement agencies would only provide “active support” to the PDEA, Roque told a news briefing.

Mr. Duterte’s order on Tuesday, he said, “supersedes the earlier memorandum that designated the PDEA as the sole agency that will deal with the entire illegal drug operations.”

Roque said that if the PNP wanted to revive “Oplan Tokhang,” it should coordinate first with the PDEA.

“Well, it’s very clear the PDEA is the lead so if Tokhang will be implemented by the PNP, I would suppose there would have to be coordination with the PDEA,” he said.

“If they want to resume Tokhang, they need to confer with the PDEA on how to implement it. The PDEA must be consulted and the PDEA must not be deprived of its role in the implementation of the Dangerous Drugs Act,” Roque added.

Thousands of people have been killed in the PNP campaign, drawing expressions of concern from the United States, European Union, United Nations and international groups about human rights violations in the Philippines.

Mr. Duterte badmouthed them all, accusing them of meddling in Philippine internal affairs.

On Oct. 11, Mr. Duterte designated the PDEA as the “sole agency” in the antidrug campaign after a series of killings of teenagers in northern Metro Manila, which was blamed for the drop in the President’s public approval ratings.

It was the second time that the PNP was stripped of its lead role in the drug war.


In January, the President ordered the PNP to suspend its antidrug operations after narcotics police allegedly kidnapped South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo and killed him inside Camp Crame, where the PNP headquarters is located.

The President allowed the PNP to resume the war on drugs after more than a month due to reports that the country’s drug problem had worsened.

This time around, Mr. Duterte said the PDEA had made significant strides but there was a resurgent drug problem and crimes related to it.

“PDEA has made significant strides in the government anti-illegal drug campaign since Oct. 11, 2017, with only one drug suspect killed in the course of its anti-illegal drug operations,” the President said.

“[However, it] has been seriously hampered in performing its huge mandate by the lack of resources, specifically agents and operatives, who can penetrate drug-infected areas down to the municipal and barangay levels,” he said.

The President noted that the PDEA had only about 2,000 personnel to deal with the drug problem in the entire country.

“There is a clamor from the public to restore to the PNP and all other law enforcement agencies the responsibility of providing active support to PDEA in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations,” he said.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

The President directed the PDEA to submit a monthly report on the progress of the campaign while the Dangerous Drugs Board would remain the policymaking and strategy-formulating body.

“So now, the President clearly wanted the PDEA to take the lead but it wants to avail [itself] of the manpower resources of all other agencies of government, not just the PNP,” Roque said.

‘Bad move’

The Catholic Church warned that Mr. Duterte’s allowing the police to rejoin the war on drugs was a “bad move.”

Speaking on Church-run Radio Veritas, Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez called the faithful to pray.

Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani said Mr. Duterte’s decision raised questions, especially after the PDEA had achieved gains and implemented reforms in the war on drugs.

“After all, the President said 40 percent of the PNP was corrupt and he replaced them twice. There have not been significant reforms. He is interested in dead body counts,” Bacani said.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the decision only showed Mr. Duterte’s fickle-mindedness.

“Didn’t he see that the PNP was already a failure? He did not give the PDEA a chance to prove itself. He did not even give it time,” Pabillo said. —With a report from Tina G. Santos

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Image result for duterte, dela rosa, together, photos

President Rodrigo Duterte and PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa. PhilStar photo

Jee Ick-joo, a South Korean businessman in the Philippines, was abducted by police from his home in October. It took his wife, Choi Kyung-jin, three months to learn his fate. Video: Eva Tam; photo: Jes Aznar for The Wall Street Journal

Philippines: Police can now get get human rights advisories and policies on their smartphones — We could not find the section for executions…

December 4, 2017
HRAO director Chief Supt. Dennis Siervo yesterday said they would craft a memorandum for PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa’s approval, mandating all police personnel to have the app downloaded on their smartphones. File

MANILA, Philippines — The Human Rights Affairs Office (HRAO) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) wants the mobile application “Know Your Rights” to be mandatory for every police officer.

HRAO director Chief Supt. Dennis Siervo yesterday said they would craft a memorandum for PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa’s approval, mandating all police personnel to have the app downloaded on their smartphones.

“We will seek the approval of the PNP chief for the app to be mandatorily downloaded,” Siervo told a press conference at Camp Crame.

The HRAO yesterday launched the app, which can be downloaded for free by android device users from Google Play Store.

The launch coincided with this year’s celebration of the National Human Rights Consciousness Week with the theme “Stand Up for Someone’s Right Today.”

For policemen with old phones, Siervo said they should buy smartphones so that they can download the app as the PNP is doing away with handbooks which are more expensive.

He said a smartphone can now be brought for P3,000 to P4,000.

“It’s already the individual responsibility of a law enforcer to secure the tools so that they can download this app,” Siervo said.

“We cannot provide everything for them.”

Smartphone users can obtain human rights advisories and policies which the PNP crafted, including the contents of the “Miranda Rights” which Siervo said is important when law enforcers arrest suspected criminals.

The Miranda warning is available in other languages of countries who have citizens in the Philippines like Japan and China.

This is to avoid the dismissal of cases by “technicality” when a suspect claims he was not informed about his rights under the law.

“In order to do away with the cases dismissed because of technicalities, we are providing them with this tool,” Siervo said.

The app also has sections for rights of persons arrested, detained or under custodial investigation as well as a feedback mechanism where the public can complain about abuses by policemen.


Image result for duterte, dela rosa, together, photos

President Rodrigo Duterte and PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa. PhilStar photo

Jee Ick-joo, a South Korean businessman in the Philippines, was abducted by police from his home in October. It took his wife, Choi Kyung-jin, three months to learn his fate. Video: Eva Tam; photo: Jes Aznar for The Wall Street Journal

Philippines: Duterte says establishing RevGov is like ‘looking for a headache’

December 3, 2017


 / 10:02 PM November 28, 2017

Rodrigo Duterte - Bangsamoro Assembly - 27 Nov 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks at the Bangsamoro Assembly in Sultan Kudarat on Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (Photo from an RTVM video)

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said the military will overthrow him if he attempts to establish a dictatorship in the country.

Mr. Duterte also said that putting up a revolutionary government (RevGov) was a “very extreme measure” that he would resort to only if the government was in imminent danger of being toppled.

“If you overstay…I become a dictator? The military will do me in same with what happened in the past,” the President said in a speech before an anti-corruption summit in Pasay City.

“You overstay and you abuse…there will always be (coup) attempts that will be done. Or mutiny for that matter,” he added.

The President said that establishing a revolutionary government at this time was like “looking for a headache.”

“I’d go to RevGov only if the ship of state is about to sink…maybe I’d be forced. That is a very extreme measure,” Mr. Duterte said.

“That is just a story. And you believe it?” he added.

Malacañang on Monday said there was no “factual or legal basis” for President Rodrigo Duterte to declare a RevGov even as his supporters across the country plan to gather on Thursday to urge him to do so.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the administration saw no credible or imminent threat that would convince the President to declare a revolutionary government.

“We appreciate the calls of the President’s supporters for RevGov but I think there’s no factual or legal basis as of now because the President has said he would consider a revolutionary government if destabilizers will persist in their plan to have him removed from office,” Roque said in a press briefing in Mindanao.

“Now, I stress we don’t see any threat, any such threat in the near future,” he added.

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The Philippines: when the police kill children

December 2, 2017

By Ted Regencia

Al Jazeera

One news report says death toll in the war on drugs could be as high as 14,000 [Ezra Acayan/Al Jazeera]

One news report says death toll in the war on drugs could be as high as 14,000 [Ezra Acayan/Al Jazeera]


Manila, Philippines – His parents named him Reynaldo de Guzman, but everyone knew him as Kulot (Curly) on account of his hair.

Kulot grew up in Anak Pawis (Child of Sweat), a district by the banks of Manila’s largest floodway.

Here, homes made of cardboard and bamboo vie for space with partially constructed concrete apartments.

During the rainy season, the debris-filled floodway overflows, leaving the neighbourhood’s houses under water.

But just a drizzle is enough to stir the stench from the nearby sewers.

Kulot lived with his parents and two of his four siblings in a one-room home where tattered tarp and chicken wire covered the only window.

On school days, he and his younger brother would rise before the sun to begin their two-kilometre walk to school, a place where classmates often teased him for being older and bigger than them and where the brothers rarely had money for lunch.

After school, Kulot would earn less than a cent and a free meal for hauling buckets of fish for sale around the neighbourhood.

On the weekends, he mixed cement or loaded sand and gravel at nearby building sites, handing over almost all his earnings to his mother.

Neighbours remember him as everyone’s favourite errand boy.

Then, in mid-August, Kulot went missing. He was 14 years old.

WATCH: Another child dies in Duterte’s war on drugs

Eighteen days later, his body was found 100km from his home, in a creek called Kinamatayang Kabayo (A Horse’s Deathplace).

His face was wrapped in plastic and bound with tape.

Police say his body bore signs of torture and at least 26 stab wounds, many inflicted after he died, some so deep they pierced his heart and lungs.

At the time of his death, the Philippines was already reeling from the murders of several teenagers suspected to have been killed as part of the government’s war on drugs.

According to a Global Post report, as many as 14,000 people may have been killed as part of President Rodrigo Duterte‘s drug war since he took office in 2016.

The Duterte administration has disputed these numbers, claiming that 3,451 “drug personalities” were killed during police operations from June 30, 2016, to July 26, 2017.

It describes more than 2,000 other cases as drug-related homicides by unknown assailants, while at least 8,200 other killings remain “under investigation”.

Of that number, dozens are believed to be teenagers or children.

Human rights organisations, activists and opposition politicians say Duterte has given the police a free pass to sidestep the law and carry out killings without fear of prosecution – allegations his administration and the country’s police force have repeatedly denied.

Eighteen days after he went missing, Kulot’s body was found 100km north of Manila [Ezra Acayan/Al Jazeera]

One neighbourhood, two dead boys

Kulot’s relatives and neighbours insist he was not involved in drugs.

The news of his death dealt a second blow to a neighbourhood that was already in mourning.

The day before Kulot’s body was found, the community had buried 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz, a friend of Kulot’s and the last person he was seen with.

The police say the honour student was killed in a shoot-out after he tried to rob a taxi driver. But his death was later classified as murder by government prosecutors.

Carl and Kulot went missing on the same mid-August night the police launched a major drug war operation across Manila and its suburbs. It left at least 80 people dead in the space of three days.

Relatives and neighbours say the two friends went out for midnight snacks, but never returned.

Carl Arnaiz, a 19-year-old honour student, was among the dozens of children and teenagers killed in Duterte’s drug war [Ezra Acayan/Al Jazeera]

At around the time Carl and Kulot disappeared, the attention of the country’s news media was on the death of another teenager, 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, who was killed during a drug raid in the Manila district of Caloocan.

A closed-circuit camera captured the moments before Kian’s death.

In the grainy video, Kian was shown being dragged by officers, contradicting a police report that claimed the Grade 11 student had tried to engage them in a gunfight.

Kian’s bullet-ridden body was later found in a pigsty. When forensic evidence revealed that he had been executed while on the ground, a nationwide outcry ensued.

Murder charges were filed against three police officers.

As the news of what had happened to Kian emerged, Carl’s family grew ever more frantic in their search for him.

They pleaded for help on social media and his mother, who was working as a housekeeper in Dubai, rushed home to join the search.

Ten days after he disappeared, his body was found in a morgue in Caloocan. He had five bullet wounds to his chest and stomach.

Questions began to circulate within the community and the media. How had his body ended up 20km away from his home, they asked. Were the Caloocan police involved?

When two versions of a police report emerged about the attempted robbery police allege Carl was involved in, they seemed to raise more questions than they answered.

After he went missing, Carl Arnaiz’s mother, Eva, returned from Dubai to join the search for her son [Ezra Acayan/Al Jazeera]

The taxi driver, Tomas Bagcal, who had been in hiding for 16 days, came forward to say the police had forced him to sign the reports.

He also said that, contrary to what was stated in them, Carl had used a knife, not a gun, during the attempted robbery, and that he wasn’t alone – Kulot was with him.

The police had apprehended Carl and Kulot, he said, and both were alive when they were taken to police headquarters in Caloocan. He had followed the police car to the station, he explained.

Bagcal later told a Senate hearing that after police interrogated Carl and Kulot at the station, the two boys were taken to an unlit area beside a Caloocan highway, where two police officers shot and killed Carl, who was handcuffed and kneeling on the ground – testimony that was corroborated by two other witnesses.

Forensic experts from the public prosecutor’s office concluded that Carl’s death was an “intentional killing”. Erwin Erfe, a spokesman for the office, told reporters that Carl was “handcuffed, beaten up, dragged and then shot to death”.

He was bruised, had two black eyes and marks from handcuffs on his wrists, Erfe added.

In a separate interview, Erfe told Manila-based news website Rappler that the gun and sachets of crystal meth and cannabis found next to Carl “could have been easily planted” and that the supposed crime scene, where Carl’s body was found, appeared staged.

Contrary to two differing police reports, prosecutors said Carl Arnaiz was “handcuffed, beaten up, dragged and then shot to death”[Ezra Acayan/Al Jazeera]

A funeral

On a rainy Tuesday morning, more than 100 people gathered for Carl’s funeral.

After the mass, the priest, Norman Cordova Balboa, explained how seeing Carl’s body had reminded him of his own brother, who was killed by a soldier in 1994 when he was 14 years old.

His mother had died “with a broken heart”, he added, without ever getting justice for her son.

Outside the church, Carl’s former classmates at the state university shouted slogans against the war on drugs.

The following day, Carl’s grandmother, Norma Magat, struggled to reconcile what she knew of her grandson with the police allegations.

Slouching on a single bed in the corner of the family’s small living room, she pointed out bags of crisps, cans of sardines, packets of biscuits and bottles of shampoo arranged on a makeshift counter in one corner of the room, their prices listed in Carl’s neat handwriting beside his academic medals and certificates.

Carl had opened the small store, known locally as sari-sari (sundry), after he dropped out of university suffering from depression.

He did not want his family to have to depend solely on his mother’s remittances from Dubai, his grandmother explained, and dreamed of her being able to return.

When she did it was to search for her missing son.

Why would he need to sell such things if he was dealing drugs, his grandmother asked, perplexed.

University students protest against the country’s drug war during Carl’s funeral [Ezra Acayan/Al Jazeera

The body in the creek

The day after Carl’s burial, residents of Anak Pawis learned that Kulot’s body had been found.

A woman had discovered it floating in the creek in Nueva Ecija, 100km north of Manila, and alerted police.

The morgue contacted Queen Chellsy Magual, a neighbour of Kulot’s family who had posted her mobile number on Facebook during the search.

She couldn’t tell whether the disfigured boy in the grainy photos the morgue sent her was Kulot, so she showed his family.

Kulot’s parents rushed to the morgue in Nueva Ecija.

According to news reports, Kulot’s father, Eduardo, and his mother, Lina, identified their son from a birthmark on his leg.

But, unable to afford a coffin, they couldn’t immediately bring him back to Manila with them.

Kulot’s older brother, 17-year-old Edmundo, recalled seeing the pictures of his brother’s body and of refusing to believe it was him until he saw the remains for himself.

Where the sky weeps

Kulot’s body was found 100km north of Manila [Ezra Acayan/Al Jazeera]

So for the second time within a week, the village hall at Anak Pawis was turned into a funeral room.

On top of Kulot’s coffin were two pictures of him emblazoned with the word, “MISSING”.

The first came from his school ID, the second from the mobile phone of the neighbourhood fish vendor who Kulot would work for in the evenings.

His family had no other pictures of him.

Nearby were two of Kulot’s baseball caps, a bottle of his favourite energy drink and three chicks, based on the belief that the hatchlings would eat away at the murderer’s conscience and bring the family justice.

For six nights, Kulot’s brothers stayed up to watch over him, taking turns to nap on a piece of cardboard on the floor beside the coffin.

Outside, under a tarpaulin tent, neighbours played cards and drank coffee as they kept vigil.

The rain came and went, prompting one to declare “even the sky is weeping for Kulot” as others doubted that the fifth-grader known for working so hard would ever conspire to commit a crime.

Murders in Manila [Ezra Acayan/Al Jazeera]

‘Two systems of justice’

As outrage was brewing over Kulot’s death and that of other teenagers, the halls of the Philippine Congress were abuzz over allegations linking President Duterte’s son, 42-year-old Paolo, to the attempted smuggling of $125m worth of drugs from China.

Antonio Trillanes, an opposition senator, accused the president’s son of being a member of a Chinese criminal syndicate.

Paolo, vice mayor of the family’s political heartland Davao City has denounced the allegations as “baseless”.

Critics said the drug-smuggling investigation showed there are separate justice systems for the rich and the poor.

WATCH: Duterte’s son questioned over illegal drug smuggling

On the day before Kulot’s funeral, however, tensions erupted at the wake when authorities tried to reclaim his body for further “evaluation”.

Police claimed the DNA test conducted on Kulot and his parents did not match.

Already in despair over his son’s death, Kulot’s father, Eduardo Sr lashed out at the police officers, telling them to back off, saying no one could take away his son from him.

Eduardo Sr’s drooping eyes could not even conceal his anger, according to video clips posted on news sites.

He insisted the burial will proceed the next day.

The public attorney representing the family also fumed, telling reporters the DNA testing the police conducted was not even authorised.

Persida Acosta said it is standard operating procedure for a lawyer to be present if DNA testing is administered.

No other family came forward to claim the body, but Kulot’s other family members and neighbours were still left confused at the police response, despite the insistence of Kulot’s parents that it is him.

Kulot’s eldest brother, 22-year old Royette, and his brother’s wife Grace began to doubt, telling Al Jazeera there was a mix-up, and that the boy inside the coffin was not Kulot, as the cadaver is “too short”.

Kulot’s hair colour also looked different, and he had an ear piercing, said another brother, Edgardo, 19, who had not seen him in months.

The three were huddled next to Kulot’s coffin as they chatted.

‘Our flesh and blood’

A  major Philippine newspaper criticised the police for denying Kulot’s family a “dignified burial” for their son [Ezra Acayan/Al Jazeera]

Amid a new cloud of doubt over Kulot’s identity, the morning of his burial came.

Security personnel briefly ushered his parents to the village hall to take another look at their son.

Authorities had taken custody of the parents without giving an explanation.

Kulot’s mother, Lina, bursts into muffled tears as she runs her right hand on the glass covering of Kulot’s coffin.

She wiped away her tears with her orange shawl.

She had been sleepless for days since her son had disappeared, and on the day of the funeral, she could hardly walk, and was helped by two elderly female community volunteers.

Unlike Carl’s funeral, there was no procession for Kulot.

Special police assigned to the family did not explain the haste, and avoided questions by the media.

After the family placed Kulot’s coffin in the hearse, the vehicle, the police car escorts, and the rest of the funeral convoy sped through traffic amid the blare of sirens.

Kulot’s parents and siblings were all placed in one police van. A convoy of reporters also followed hurriedly.

Heavily armed police officers kept close watch on Kulot’s parents.

Wearing identical white shirts and black pants, Kulot’s brothers concealed their faces in masks, as they try to avoid reporters’ cameras.

Kulot’s youngest brother and classmate, Eduardo Jr, covered his head with an oversized towel.

As the priest recited the final blessings, Eduardo Jr broke down in tears. Kulot’s brother Royette was carrying his baby, as he tried to console his wife Grace

One by one, family members and friends, as well as the officiating priest, sprinkled holy water on Kulot’s coffin. A gaggle of reporters surrounded the family.

Police claimed the DNA test conducted on Kulot and his parents didn’t match [Ezra Acayan/Al Jazeera]

As Kulot’s family bid their final goodbyes at the cemetery, police and five civilian volunteers of a pro-government anti-crime group, took aside again his parents, and handed them Kulot’s two photos earlier placed in the coffin.

Whispered remarks were exchanged, before Kulot’s father, Eduardo Sr, said in Filipino: “That’s it. Let’s go ahead.”

Family members then threw flower petals into Kulot’s grave, before a gravedigger covered it with cement.

There was no stone tablet to mark Kulot’s grave, so the grave-digger wrote in the fresh cement R DE GUZMAN.

Asked by broadcast reporters what he thought of the attempt by police to reclaim Kulot’s body, Eduardo Sr said: “That’s our son, and he is our flesh and blood. We made him. He is ours.”

Commenting on the police handling of Kulot’s case, the country’s leading newspaper, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, did not mince words in a comment: The country’s law enforcers “acted dishonourably” towards Kulot’s family, and “denied” the victim “a dignified burial by continuing to question his identity”.

Since Kulot’s burial, prosecutors have charged two police officers in Caloocan and the taxi driver for double murder.

Prosecutors said they included Bagcal, the taxi driver, as an accessory to the murder because of his conflicting testimonies to police, media and government attorneys.

Duterte has also ordered the removal and retraining of all Caloocan police force, and has decided to pull out the police as the main agency in the anti-drug war.

Two police officers and a taxi driver were charged with double murder over the deaths of Carl and Kulot [Ezra Acayan/Al Jazeera]

But the killings have not stopped.

In one incident in late October, a pregnant 15-year-old and her unborn baby were killed in what police said was an “armed encounter” that targeted the girl’s boyfriend.

In another incident on November 14, a 17-year old senior high school student at the University of Makati in Manila was shot and killed by unidentified assailants, just as Duterte was hosting a summit of Asian and world leaders in Manila.

On the same day, it was also reported that a fire mysteriously hit the Caloocan police station, destroying parts of the first floor of the building, where case files and evidence were kept.

“The killings are still happening, but the accountability of those who were ordered to kill has not been made possible,” Wilnor Papa, an Amnesty International spokesman, said in Manila.

The appeal of Amnesty and other human rights groups to visiting world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, to publicly confront Duterte about the killings also fell on deaf ears.

In Anak Pawi, Joven Tare, the neighbourhood’s fish vendor, was back in the street with fresh catch to sell.

With a family to feed, there was no stopping his business, despite the death of his assistant, Kulot.

He recalled how Kulot was always eager to help, even though he often needed instruction what to do next.

“By this time Kulot would have been busy helping me haul the fish and other seafood from the icebox,” he told Al Jazeera, while slicing a piece of milkfish for a customer.

Three others were milling around waiting for their turn to buy.

“But Kulot is gone now.”

WATCH: Philippine police ‘dumping bodies’ of drug war victims (2:39)



Ted Regencia


Image result for duterte, dela rosa, together, photos

President Rodrigo Duterte and PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa. PhilStar photo

Jee Ick-joo, a South Korean businessman in the Philippines, was abducted by police from his home in October. It took his wife, Choi Kyung-jin, three months to learn his fate. Video: Eva Tam; photo: Jes Aznar for The Wall Street Journal

Philippines House Speaker Says “We Can Sweep Away The Congress” — “It’s not like we can say no” — Is Dictatorship Next for President Rodrigo Duterte?

December 1, 2017
In this March 13 photo, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez speaks with reporters together with President Rodrigo Duterte at the Palace. PPD/Toto Lozano, File photo

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is open to the idea of abolishing Congress if ever President Rodrigo Duterte declares a revolutionary government.

The proposal to declare a revolutionary government is not new as Duterte had already mentioned it in his campaign for the presidency, Alvarez said in an interview with radio dzMM Friday.

“Halimbawa dadating tayo sa panahon na ‘yun at kinakailangan talaga, pwede naman tayo magsakripisyo,” Alvarez said when asked about the possibility of abolishing Congress.

“Mas gustuhin ko ‘yun… para wala nang trabaho,” he joked.

Alvarez added that Duterte’s victory in the May 2016 national elections can be considered as proof that the Filipino people are in favor of a revolutionary government as the president had suggested it.

“Ang sabi niya gagawin niya ang tunay na pagbabago sa bansa at kung ito ay hindi niya magagawa dahil maraming humaharang, ‘yung option ng revolutionary ay nandodoon,” the speaker said.

Duterte had made confusing statements on the possibility of declaring a revolutionary government.

Last month, the president threatened that he would declare a revolutionary government to counter supposed threats to his administration. Duterte, however, also told the military to ignore talks about a revolutionary government.

RELATED: Yes RevGov? No RevGov? Duterte sending mixed signals



Alvarez on revolutionary gov’t: Duterte has people’s mandate

‘What can we do? It’s not like we can say no,’ says House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in jest

Published 3:10 PM, November 28, 2017
Updated 3:55 PM, November 28, 2017

WHAT'S NEW. Amid criticism from different sectors, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (right) and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas (left) downplay President Rodrigo Duterte's revolutionary government threats. Photo from the Office of the House Speaker

WHAT’S NEW. Amid criticism from different sectors, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (right) and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas (left) downplay President Rodrigo Duterte’s revolutionary government threats. Photo from the Office of the House Speaker

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Tuesday, November 28, downplayed concerns over President Rodrigo Duterte’s on-again, off-again threats to declare a revolutionary government.

“If you would recall, during the campaign, the President already said that,” said Alvarez in a press conference.

Back in March 2016, when he was merely a presidential candidate, Duterte said he would close down Congress and declare a revolutionary government if legislators would block the budget over the scrapped pork barrel system.

“If we reach that scenario, what do you think will happen? I will declare a revolutionary government. I will close Congress. Then I will tell them, we will talk elections about two years from now. We will amend the Constitution. I will call for a constitutional convention and that’s it. They better not threaten me with impeachment,” he said then.

On November 21 this year, Duterte denied plans to establish a revolutionary government as he spoke before soldiers.

Still, Alvarez said that should Duterte push through with this plan, it would be justified.

“For me, the President has spoken about [declaring a revolutionary government] for a long time. And on the basis of the 2016 election results, he got a huge mandate. That means the people approve of this,” Alvarez added.

Duterte got more than 16 million votes in the May 2016 elections, at least 6 million votes over his closest rival, Manuel Roxas II.

Both Alvarez and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas seemingly belittled the threat of a revolutionary government, joking about it in the press conference.

“He even said he’d shut down Congress,” quipped Fariñas.

“What can we do? It’s not like we can say no,” said Alvarez, laughing.

“It’s fine for me. I won’t have a job anymore. Majority Leader and I will just go around. A road trip sounds fun,” added the House Speaker.

If a revolutionary government is declared, that means all branches of government – including the judiciary and executive – will be sacked and the Constitution, rejected. The leader of the government then decides on how the government will work. –


Is The Philippines Headed Toward Dictatorship?

November 30, 2017

Some in the Philippines say President Duterte’s idea of a “revolutionary government” is just a nice way of saying dictatorship…

Ex-DSWD chief Taguiwalo warns of dictatorship under RevGov

 / 07:18 PM November 30, 2017

Former Social Welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo issues a warning against RevGov. PHOTO/Noy Morcoso,

Former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo warned on Thursday that the proposed revolutionary government could lead to an “imposition of a one-man rule and authoritarianism” by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Ang sinasabi natin na revolutionary government sa totoo lang one-man rule kasi iaabolish ang Congress,” Taguiwalo said during a protest action at Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila to commemorate the 154th Bonifacio Day.

“Dumaan na tayo sa batas militar eh at alam natin na ‘di ito ang solusyon sa mga hinaing ng mamamayan sa kahirapan, kawalang trabaho, karahasan. It is an imposition of a one-man rule it is an authoritarianism,” she added.

Last November 20, Duterte threatened he would declare a revolutionary government if his detractors would try to topple his administration.

READ: Duterte threatens foes with revolutionary government

But he later retracted his statement, citing it as a mere “headache.”

READ: Duterte says establishing RevGov is like ‘looking for a headache’

Aside from airing their opposition to the revolutionary government, around 3,000 protesters also condemned the recent crackdown against progressive groups which, they said, came after the termination of peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

“Itong pagkilos ay paggunita sa kapanganakan ni Bonifacio at pagtutol ano man planong magpataw ng diktadurya, pagtutol sa crackdown ng lehitimong organisasyon at sa huwad na revolutionary government na sa totoo lang mas mukhang diktadurya at power grab sa halip na revolutionary,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary General Renato Reyes said.

Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago said a fact-finding group of 30 people was attacked on Nov. 28 by suspected state forces while on their way to Brgy. Catalina in Negros Oriental to probe alleged human rights violations.

Two members, Elisa Badayos of Karapatan Central Visayas and Elioterio Moises of the local peasant group Mantapi Ebean Farmers Association, died, while a member of Kabataan partylist-Cebu was reported in critical condition, Elago said.

Meanwhile, Reyes also warned that the impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and the termination of peace negotiation, among others, were signs of a looming dictatorship.

“Yung mga senyales nakakabahala yung pagterminate ng peace talks, banta sa mga progressive orgs, militarization, war on terror, impeachment sa mga sangay ng government na nagbibigay sana ng checks and balances, lahat ng ito parang pag tinignan mo inilalatag patungo ng diktadurya,” he said.

Asked about what would be the course of action of militant groups, Reyes answered: “There’s only one course of action eh kailangan mong labanan at biguin yung mga tangka na magpataw ng diktadurya.”

Read more:
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Supporters, counterprotesters cross paths as Duterte toys with revolutionary gov’t

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo sing the national anthem during the 38th Philippine National Police Academy Commencement Exercises for “Masidlak” Class of 2017 at Camp General Mariano N. Castañeda in Silang, Cavite on March 24, 2017. Presidential Photo/King Rodriguez

MANILA, Philippines — As protesters with clashing views on the idea of establishing a revolutionary government cross paths in the country’s capital on Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo have a common message to demonstrators: the Constitution must be followed.

Several times in his public remarks, Duterte has threatened to declare a revolutionary government, a form of self-coup disabling the current government system and Constitution.

But early this month, Duterte—in an apparent move to douse fears incited by his threat to revamp the government through extraconstitutional means—called on the military to ignore talks about a revolutionary government.

This was after Robredo said the Armed Forces of the Philippines assured her that it would not back a revolutionary government or any moves “that threatened our Constitution.”

Meanwhile, anti-government groups and supporters of the administration held separate rallies in various parts of the country on November 30, Bonifacio Day.

Pro-government groups assembled near the presidential palace to convince Duterte to declare a revolutionary government.

READ: Palace: Duterte rejects revolutionary gov’t but supporters can hold peaceful rally

In an interview with reporters, Robredo said she is “alarmed” by the support given by some people to Duterte’s proposal to found a revolutionary government.

She said those who back a revolutionary government might be unaware of the implications of such a move.

“‘Yung pagdeklara ng revolutionary government sinasabi natin na wala na tayong paniniwala sa gobyernong ito, wala tayong paniniwala sa Konstitusyon (Declaring a revolutionary government means we no longer have faith in this government and in our Constitution),” Robredo said.

“Parang gusto ka mag-alsa laban sa pamahalaan na isa ka sa mga kinatawan. Parang very ironic yung ganong sitwasyon (It’s like you are told to revolt against the government which you are a part of. That’s a very ironic situation),” she added.

Without dropping names, the vice president said it’s disturbing that the idea of establishing a revolutionary government is being pushed by government officials who were elected in accordance with the Constitution.

“Kaya naka-alarma kung mga kinatawan ng pamahalaan mismo ‘yung nagsusulong nito kasi ibig sabihin ‘yung plataporma kung saan parang nag-ascend ka sa responsibilidad mo ngayon… parang in effect sinasabi mo hindi ka na dito naniniwala at gusto mo umalsa laban dito (It’s very alarming that those who represent the government are the ones pushing for the declaration of a revolutionary government because, in effect, it means they no longer believe in the platform that ascended them to their responsibilities and they want to rise up against it),” she said.

No reason

Asked for his message to supporters of his plan to set up a revolutionary government, Duterte said he hopes the day where he would be forced to make such a declaration would not come.

“I hope there will never be a time that I will be compelled to call for it. Ako basta abogado (I am a lawyer) and we follow the constitution,” the president said in an interview with presidential communications assistant secretary Mocha Uson on Tuesday.

“Only when the Republic of the Philippines is dying, then siguro (then I might declare a revolutionary government) … Other than that, wala akong makitang rason bakit ako mag-revolutionary government (I don’t see any reason why I should do that),” he added.

He then slammed those who took his remarks about founding a revolutionary government “out of context,” saying they just wanted to “draw publicity.”

“The predicate was kung tataob na ang bayan. Di man nila pinapakinggan yon (The predicate of my statement on revolutionary government was if the nation would stumble. They did not listen to that),” he said.

Big voice

According to lawyer Tony La Viña, former dean of the Ateneo School of Government, while any president can declare a revolutionary government, doing so would be “illegal and unconstitutional.”

Asked what mechanisms would legitimize a hypothetical revolutionary government, La Viña said that can be done by “acquiescence,” adding that a lack of protests against the move would be an indication of that.

EXPLAINER: Can Duterte declare a revolutionary government?

In the same interview on Tuesday, Duterte said that while many oppose the possible establishment of a revolutionary government, it cannot be denied that the millions of voters who elected him have a “big voice.”

“The 15 million who voted for me lalo na yang six million na ano… malaking boses yan and they are calling for it because the country itong corruption (The 15 million who voted for me especially the six million of them… they have a big voice and they are calling for a revolutionary government because the country is hounded by corruption),” he said.

“Kaya nagpropose nga ako (That’s why I proposed) to come up with a constitution na bago (that’s new),” he added.


Yes RevGov? No RevGov? Duterte sending mixed signals

The Liberal Party said that the administration is sending mixed signals on the proposed revolutionary government on purpose. Senate PRIB, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Liberal Party appealed to the Duterte administration to categorically state that it would not declare a revolutionary government following confusing statements from the president.

Malacañang earlier insisted that Duterte does not want a revolutionary government but said that those who support the proposal may join demonstrations in an orderly manner.

The opposition accused the administration of intending to confuse the public with such mixed messages.

READ: Palace: Duterte rejects revolutionary gov’t but supporters can hold peaceful rally

“There are various pronouncements about a revolutionary government which in turn are further muddled when interpreted by his spokespersons,” the LP said in a statement released Thursday.

The government’s threats of declaring a revolutionary government “cheapen the gallantry” of the heroes such as Andres Bonifacio, who is one of the country’s most revered freedom fighters, the LP said.

“Such talks or threats by top government officials cheapen the gallantry of our heroes, who have fought for self-determination and social order, freedom and democracy now being enjoyed by Filipinos,” the statement read.

The opposition stressed that a revolutionary government is not an option under the 1987 Constitution unless the administration is aiming to achieve authoritarian rule.

In 1986, former President Corazon Aquino exercised revolutionary powers following the People Power revolution. She issued a proclamation implementing reforms in the government and shut down Congress.

Aquino ended her revolutionary government in 1987 when a new constitution was approved and a new Congress was elected.

RELATED: Can Duterte declare a revolutionary government?