Revolutionary Government?

Google Earth satellite imaging caught this unique land form somewhere in a Chinese desert. This appears to many as an aerial/urban warfare training camp.

Yesterday former Assemblyman, three-time Senatorial candidate, and current Department of National Defense (DND) Spokesperson Atty. Jess Paredes spoke what many military and national security advisers have in mind for some time now – a creation of a revolutionary government.

During the weekly Balitaan sa Rembrandt Hotel in Metro Manila, DND Spokesperson Jess Paredes said  “A declaration of a revolutionary government by President Aquino III is an option to restore order in the country. When national security is threatened or at stake, a revolutionary government is an option for the President under the Constitution. Anytime the national security or integrity is at stake, the President is empowered to declare “his own government”.

Paredes further said that martial law is more “formal” while a revolutionary government is more “generic” and anything can happen under such scenario. He also assured that the AFP will follow the chain of command and will comply with any proclamation made by the President as the commander-in-chief.

For many of my Filipino friends who have read this piece of news published yesterday in the Philippine Star, the first thing that came into their mind is that it is a knee-jerk reaction among our defense and military officials to the on-going dilemma that the present administration is having with former President Arroyo. For many, like Raffy Alunan, there is absolutely no need for a revolutionary government besides GMA poses no security or national threat. For many observers, GMA has lost any tangible support from the military establishment and any promptings from her camp to seek support from the military would be futile.

But for those within the military and civilian establishment who are supportive and attracted to the creation of a revolutionary government, a repeat and an enhanced version of Apo Marcos’ “revolution from the center”,  — it is way above and beyond GMA and her issues. It is a matter of national importance and survival.

They see the “revolutionary government” as a major leap forward to clear the Filipino nation of its major roadblock, among others: (1) ever-growing disunity among Filipinos, (2) gridlock of the tripartite government (legislative-executive-judiciary), (3) spiraling down peace and order situation, (4) the half-a-century communist and moro rebellion, and an essential national preparation for (5) an armed conflict between the United States and China.

While items 1, 2, 3, and 4 would give further reason for the logic behind the proposal of revolutionizing our government and political system from the center, the fifth item is one thing that makes the military establishment hopeful that turn of geopolitical events will make their envisioned revolutionary government a necessity. The fifth item supersedes all reasons for the establishment of a revolutionary government.

A “popular, benevolent, authoritarian president” in a “revolutionary government” is needed to prepare and defend the Filipino people to the inevitable thunderheads to come in the Asia-Pacific. The mistake made by the Commonwealth government in the 1930’s when it was terribly caught flat-footed by Imperial Japan ought not to be repeated again. These are the main thesis of a renewed call for a revolutionary government.

Me thinks that many in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), especially among its clique of geopolitical analysts, are foreseeing in the near future, possibly in President Aquino III time (2010 – 2016), an inevitable clash of the global titans – the United States and its allies (i.e. Philippines) against the People’s Republic of China and its allies.

For many of these Filipino civilian and military geopolitical analysts, the current way of how the Philippine government deals with the United States and China, namely strengthening economic ties with China and strengthening military ties with the United States, will come to a standstill once domestic politics and the forthcoming new leadership in Mainland China turns more aggressive and assertive on its international affairs.

The renewed vigor and interest of the United States government in Southeast Asian affairs particularly with its former colony and the way many local American politicians have been ridiculing and bashing China in the past few months have certainly irked and offended many Chinese high officials.  The call for a “show them what we’ve got” and “final showdown” within and without the ruling Communist Party of China are spiking at a time when the world’s biggest military organization, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is expanding its might. Whoever among the two giants would “attack first” is like watching a chess game between two grand masters.

Only time will tell if the Philippines would once again be caught in the middle of the conflict of major powers as it was seventy years ago. Shall this call for a revolutionary government prosper? Shall the youth of the land once more, as it was in the past, be called upon to “Ipagtanggol ang Inang Bayan”?







J. Sun E.

Sun, a Filipino based in China, writes PH.CN on ProPinoy, a weekly column on Philippines-China relations, politics, history, and current events. He studied Political Science, History, and Foreign Languages in Philippines and China. Follow him on Twitter @phdotcn