To understand the question and its relevance, we have to understand first the different definitions of what a revolution is.
The strict Marxist notion of revolution is the overthrow of one ruling class by the exploited class, i.e., the overthrow of the landlords by the peasants, and in the communist dogma, the bourgeoisie by the proletariat at some future time.
A more common and broad understanding of revolution is one in which a state or a political regime is overthrown by a popular movement in an irregular, extra-constitutional fashion, whether violent or not.
A rather deeper and broader idea of revolution is that it is a social movement led by a leader with substantial popular support, which changes an existing order radically and rapidly — how political power is redistributed, how people view the world and the nation, how they see in a very new light their nations’ problems and how these are to be resolved.
The “classic” French Revolution encompassed both definitions: It overthrew both the monarchy as well as the medieval culture of obeisance to the Church and its dogmas.
The revolutionaries who founded our nation, especially Rizal, rapidly removed the ideological chains used by the Catholic Church to bind the Filipinos to a life of servitude for four centuries so that they couldn’t see the exploitation of their nation by their Spanish colonizers, and couldn’t conceive of a future beyond being just a Crown colony and the faithful servant of the Church.
EDSA II, by that common definition, qualified as a revolution as it overthrew Marcos’ 13-year dictatorship in a popular, extra-constitutional fashion. It wasn’t a social revolution at all since the Cory Aquino regime retained the ruling elites, (that, in fact, grew during Martial Law) less those close to Marcos (i.e., the cronies) and restored the old political-economic magnates that were the dictator’s enemies.
What isn’t accepted too widely — because the victors normally write history — is that Marcos’ Martial Law was also a revolution: the old order, the system of elections, which was a game of thrones by which factions of the elite fought to determine whose turn it was to rule, was overthrown.
Replacing it was a weird one because the legal system that was built up since the Commonwealth period was retained even as the country was placed under the rule of one man, supported by the military and police establishment and by most of the middle and ruling classes, especially by what would be called “oligarchs” today. (The demonized “Rolex 12” — actually they were given fake Omegas, according to then Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Romeo Espino — who signed off on Marcos’ martial declaration on the evening of September 21, 1972 actually consisted of Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, and the chiefs of all the uniformed services, including Philippine Constabulary Chief Fidel Ramos.) Indeed, Marcos called his dictatorship, validly I think, a “Revolution from the Center.”
Until Martial Law turned sour, roughly during the global 1980s recession, Filipinos’ prime values weren’t at all the right to vote or to choose their leaders, but economic growth, for themselves and for the nation.
What has been forgotten, and which I was reminded of only by President Duterte’s public naming yesterday morning of over a hundred judges, police and military officers, as well as incumbent and former public officials allegedly involved in the illegal-drug industry, was Marcos’ order a few weeks after he declared Martial Law removing about 4,000 officials, both elected and in the government bureaucracy and state firms, for corruption. Marcos hailed it as a revolutionary move toward curbing corruption that had been a burning issue in that era, as it is now.
I remember that Marcos’ move distinctly since an uncle in a government bank was included among those purged. Whether he was corrupt or not, or only included in that list by enemies, I never found out. The poor man, a good man … though he never recovered from his shock, and had since been unemployed until he died.
I am starting to suspect that what we are seeing now is a Duterte revolution. His naming of more than a hundred judges, military and police officials, as well as politicians, as being involved in the illegal drug trade, has upended the old order, in which it would have required massive resources and even decades for “due process” to be undertaken to dismantle the illegal-drug industry’s infrastructure. Call it trial by publicity, but Duterte’s announcement in one fell swoop has neutralized this corps of supporters of the illegal-drug industry.
When Marcos purged 4,000 allegedly corrupt government bureaucrats, and when Cory Aquino in 1986 removed more than 1,500 mayors and governors in March 1986, they were exercising revolutionary power, upending the old order by suspending due process.
Perhaps, it is in this bigger picture where we are in the midst of a revolution, that we should judge the widespread extrajudicial killings of drug dealers and addicts. A revolution, as Mao Ze Dong had poetically pointed out, is not a picnic. There will be many innocents killed as revolutionaries storm their Bastilles.
I think Duterte, without declaring it as such and with us not realizing it, had launched — from the time he delivered his speeches that shocked the bourgeoisie during the 2016 election campaign period to his initiatives in the past 36 days — a revolution.
His campaign — and victory — had overthrown the old order of well-financed political parties, of political machines, and patronage networks. His curses and off-color jokes had broken the old order of respectable campaign speeches. He has challenged the Press, the first time a President has ever done so. (Estrada challenged only the Philippine Daily Inquirer, not the entire media.)
Locus of power
Duterte has moved the locus of political and bureaucratic power from metropolitan Manila, where it had been located since Independence, to Davao City, which would have positive economic consequences for our “frontier” region. Cut — so far — under Duterte has been the magnates’ and oligarchs’ influence and even control of the presidency that had been a mark of our Republic since our independence. Duterte’s disregard of protocol — his wearing of jeans even in official functions, his irreverence toward ambassadors, his past-midnight press conferences — are in reality his gestures that reveal his intent to upend the old order.
However, not all revolutions have been laudable or successful. The EDSA I Revolution merely restored the old ruling classes’ almost absolute powers. In other countries, Indonesia’s Sukarno’s revolution was defeated by a counter-revolution that led to the massacre of 500,000 ethnic Chinese suspected of being communists and its leader Suharto’s 31-year dictatorship. The attempt at revolution by China’s Democracy movement and its 1989 Tiananmen protests were brutally crushed by the Chinese Communist Party, which, later on led the country to become what is now the world’s second biggest economy, next only to the US.
The Philippine elite have learned, especially after the overthrow of former President Joseph Estrada, how to get rid of a President who is not one of them. Duterte has to move fast to defang the elite to neutralize its prime weapons.
Duterte, at 72, is a very old man compared with Rizal, Bonifacio and General Luna, who were all in their 30s when they were engaged in revolutionary struggle. Mao Ze Dong was 54 when his revolution won. Revolutionary fervor, some say, wanes at almost the same pace as libido does. I’m worried that Duterte has said not just once that if he senses the “people” don’t want him anymore, he’ll just go back to Davao. He hasn’t totally disproved claims during the campaign that he has some serious illness.
I certainly hope Duterte’s siege of the illegal-drug industry is just the start of this modern Supremo’s revolution, that it is just the low-hanging fruit he has to capture first.
For me, what could bring hope are his statements critical of the mining industry and his reference to “oligarchs” that have influenced all past administrations. These point to his understanding that one of the reasons behind our nation’s poverty is a greedy ruling class, many of whom see themselves as Spanish, or the new cosmopolitan Chinese, concerned only over profits and never over the fate of this community we call the Philippine nation.
In the quagmire where we find ourselves, dug even deeper by the past incompetent hacendero administration, we need nothing less than a revolution, especially given the much faster pace of our world today. Even a war-devastated country like Vietnam is starting to overtake us, thanks to its leaders’ nationalism and the absence of greedy oligarchs. We’ve gone from bad to worse: one of the newest, and biggest, oligarchs we have in this country is not even a Filipino. How bad can it get?
I’m afraid Supremo Duterte is our last chance.
This Post Has 37 Comments
How could Duterte lead a revolution against drugs, corruption, and poverty when he is cozy with Peter Lim, GMA, the Marcoses, and their ilk? He is not a serious reformer, he is just a bumbling provinciano politician groping his way in Malacanang.
Mr. Tiglao iba na ang ihip ng hangin ngayon? Hindi ko makakalimutan ang sinabi mong walang tsansang manalo si Duterte dahil walang makinarya at ang mga binibitiwang salita ay puro EMPTY BRAGGADOCIO..nako nag search pa ako sa ibig sabihin nito..O ano ngayon?
Yes for revolutionary gov or federalism with ka dugong as the president for life.
Yes definitely I agree that President Duterte has started his revolution. The difference with his and Marcos revolution is that when Marcos declared his revolution the military are already arresting people. Only the few prominent personalities were announced incarcerated after few days later. For the hundreds or thousands others it was only after the change of leadership that the nation came to know what happened to them 15 years or so later.
To me the start of Duterte’s revolution is when he announce the names of those people involve in the illegal drug business. The difference here is that big names were announced but no arrest done. Everyone was told to report to their superiors and no one was arrested. Some have immediately complied to report to the nearest militarycamp and was given the press to announce his/her innocence and denials. Some were given soft pat on their backs and told to reform or else.
During Marcos revolution those killed were known very much later. Duterte’s revolution those killed were known as it happened few hours later.
It was a moment of pride for those arrested during Marcos revolution as it is supposed to be a moment of shame for those names that were announced by Duterte. But no. All of those announced knows history and the law. Unless proven guilty by the court of law, they are innocent so why be ashamed ???
So can the war on illegal drugs be won by a mere warning by “or else” ???
Basta mas matapang si senator pacman kay sa kay sen de lema. C pacman sumagot sa kapwa senadorr. C de lema ayaw sumagot. Chicken de lema….
Yonkers, New York
08 August 2016
Former diplomat and now New York Times columnist ROBERTO TIGLAO appears to have no problem calling what Der Fuhrer Rodrigo Duterte is now doing with the assent and compliance of a National Police Force under its new leader General “Bato” de la Rosa, a “revolution.”
From where I sit, it is not a “revolution” in the “classical sense”–meaning one that is similar to the American Revolution of 1776, the French Revolution of 1789, or Mao Zedong’s Revolution of 1949.
Der Fuhrer’s “revolution”–if we may call it that only for discussion purposes here–is targeted mainly at drug lords, drug pushers, and even drug addicts, plus against the corrupt people in the public and private domains, including corrupt journalists.
It is not against the PLUTOCRATIC-POLITICO-CLERICO CONSPIRACY which has held the country for some 60 years now in its vise-like grip following its overarching Agenda to manipulate and exploit the people.
If it were, it would be analogous to the French Revolution of 1789 which toppled the ROYAL-ARISTOCRATIC-CLERICO CONSPIRACY, which had for its overarching Agenda to manipulate and exploit the people for centuries, in the process reducing them to the status of SERFS.
Even as these lines are written, Supreme Court Chief Justice MARIA LOURDES SERENO has just warned him to adhere strictly to the Constitution, its Bill of Rights, and the Rule of Law, in his dealings with judges whom he “suspects” of being involved one way or the other in the drug business. DerFuhrer Duterte need not be reminded that when he took his Oath of Office on June 30, 2016, he swore to protect and defend the Constitution.
This is clear evidence that Der Fuhrer Duterte is on a collision course with the Supreme Court, one of three major branches of Government.
It would not be farfetched ,mulling over the possibility, that the Congress may just be biding its time as far as Der Fuhrer Duterte’s ongoing massive extra-judicial killings are concerned. At a certain point in time, it may assert its constitutional role and finally try to stop him by IMPEACHING him.
A revolutionary movement to support Duterte is actually shaping up. But it has to be within the strait jacket of the Constitution if DU30 would like to minimize ‘reaction’ from the armed forces that may have trillanes like ambitions of their own.
This one way that DU30 can do it within the Constitution is to first declare the drug personalities as NARCO-TERRORISTS. President GMA had declared illegal drugs as a national security concern. So taqgging these drug lords as narco-terrorists is a step in the same direction. Public officials and police and army elements in bed with them are therefore despicable treasonous sons/daughters of w…..
Following this up — President DU30 can issue a presidential proclamation declaring drug lords as acute threats to the well being of the Filipino people and a clear and present danger to the nation. Add to this the fact that most of the raw materials for shabu production come from China and the color of the National Security threat of these drug saboteurs is further exposed.
Since the Philippine Military are sworn protectors of the people then the President can invoke this constitutional provision. Under this proclamation PDU30 can then mobilize the military and all armed government agencies to prosecute this all out war against drugs and even convene military commissions to determine the guilt or innocence of these narco-terrorists.
Narco-terrorists and particularly Philippine military and police personnel involved in drug-terrorism are committing high treason and perhaps if placed on a wartime context can then be shot by a firing squad legally.The same should also apply to the ABU SAYYAF since this is also a plainly a terrorist group.
The lessons of the US Bush administration is instructive on how Dubya Bush dealt with terrorists after sept 11, 2001.PLEASE REFER TO:an article published February & March 2002 – “Doing Justice During Wartime” by Abraham D. Sofaer, Paul R. Williams. This is readily available in the internet – just google it as the saying goes.
Duterte needs a revolutionary movement to support him in his efforts so he can do things in stages within the bounds of the Constitution. Everything follows and the slow boil will not give a chance for the ” FROG’ ( reactionaries of both the right and left) to jump. With 2 former presidents in council with him and maybe Estrada going along – and the younger Marcos taking care of the North — what ( Tiglao column )you envision is quite doable. But first the campaign rounds in all military camps should have their intended effects. No formal declarations are needed. PDU30 should just focus on getting the job done. The line he uses in all his speeches of protecting the Filipino people hits the mark.
There is also the option of using the PDI people’s direct initiative just in case Pantaleon and Koko fails to keep Congress in line. This should be the focus of the Duterte Support Group (aka revolutionary movement) which should function as the civilian version of the PSG. Yes the possibility of assasination as part of the reaction is always there. But the DSG should go beyond supporting and protecting PDU30. Most of all it should also actively involve itself in vigorous civics education of the Filipino Polity. Otherwise this revolution will go the way of the French one where Danton and Robespiere were goobled up by their own excesses.
A well led awakened citizenry organized through the DSG and perhaps through a true original version of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino can truly help PDU30 achieve his good intentions for the nation – but most of all it would protect him against himself.
Sic Transit Gloria.
(that is gil rosero ramos but it is an apt signature reflecting seething anger that goes with these ‘interesting’ times.)
why not? the gap between very rich and very poor is so staggering which requires an iron hand to rectify. in our midst, the symptoms created various monsters which an iron hand is needed either. it will not be a picnic, it will be bloody. the teltale is already out in the open….yes why not? if not du30 who else?
President Digong is not a Supremo. He is an Herbolario. The common “tao” and the downtrodden poor living in the dark fringes of despair and squalor of hopelessness are his patients. In his sleep he cries for their salvation not from the religious hypocrites but salvation from hunger that eats their innards daily causing convulsions in their brains and stomachs. And for their children, he prays for miracles for provisions for their basic survival and for the children to be fed, clothed and sheltered so that their young brains will not be impaired from malnutrition. In his heart, he knows that these children need to be educated as they are the hope of our nation’s survival from the never ending reigns of tyranny and oppression from human traffickers, bureaucrats, drug and gambling lords and unpatriotic oligarchs.
His campaign of compassion like feeding programs for the whole nation, reviving agriculture through proper and unbiased distribution of irrigation, end of contractual employees, better health coverages, increasing pay for the teachers and all branches of the military are actions of one who deeply cares for the welfare and well-being of his community. That is why I call him an Herbolario and not a Supremo.
He knows the challenges for our nation are daunting: 1. Digital revolution and disruptive business technologies decimating jobs globally like telemedicine, smart robots or artificial intelligent applications deployed in the outsourcing centers, manufacturing, banking, finance, power generation and transportation to name a few. 2.) Try feeding and housing the growing population of the elderly, disabled, and the poor that inhabit the 7,100 islands of the Philippines. 3.) Investments needed to get us to compete globally by building roads and bridges, toilets, hospitals, power generation, manufacturing, telecommunication, and water conservation. 4.) Revitalizing the education curricula to prepare the youth from kindergarten to college to qualify for jobs in the technology dominated 21st Century. To sum it up, he knows that we are hundred years behind many nations in all areas.
Herbolario cannot do it alone even with the people who are now running his cabinets and military. He needs all of us young and old and OFWs to join him fight for our nation’s survival and to arm our youth with a knowledge more superior than is required now to survive in the brave new world of artificial intelligence and nano technology.
Although he is talking about Federalism, I think he is just testing the waters. But right now the drug demand and supply eradication is the top priority. Next gambling and corruption. On corruption, it is a common knowledge that the corruption in the BIR, Customs, LTO, Register of Deeds, Courts, military, politicians, SEC, and almost all agencies including barangay chiefs is attributed to a culture of commission system, abuse of authority, and conflict of interest. That commission structure, networking, lack of line item budgeting, progress billing audits, rigged bidding, political influence, and bartering are all part and parcel of the system of corruption. Herbolario knows too well about all these shenanigans which have cost the nation trillions over the years in lost revenue which would have gone to better use for improving the lives of our people. That is why the best effort for the public to call the hotline. But he knows that is only a start in the right direction. If I may add, the COA is doing its best to be independent – like other auditors within the agencies but we should do more to bring in outside auditors on a rotation basis to discourage fraternalization.
Herbolario Digong, a humble man who does not want to be called “His Excellency” shall rise to inherit the heart of our people and will bring peace, prosperity, and dignity to our nation. If his actions will ignite a revolution for progress into the 21st Century then May God Bless him with health and long life so that he will see the fruits of his labor!
I always look forward to reading your column, Mr. Tiglao. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.. On my part, I think there’s cancer in our society and we need chemotherapy to heal. How does chemotherapy work?
Thank you Bobbi for the audacity of the ideas which has raised hell in the readers and to create heaven in the Filipino, bravo, bravo, Mabuhay! I’m hoping some of Supremo Digong’s staff are reading you. Let us have Duterte’s brand of revolution!
i voted for duterte but i don’t like what is happening now naming of suspected personalitites without filing a case and worse killing the suspected drug peddlers, is breaking the law.
No person shall be deprive of life, liberty nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the law…
Stop the extra judicial killings. Start the senate inquiry on killings in aid of legislation.
I voted for duterte, e’ si delima ka e’. halatang halata.
President DU30 love the country, he love the Filipino poeple, he is taking care of the whole nation…he giving his life for the people….
WHAT WE NEED IS TO OBEY & SUPPORT HIS GOVERNANCE then the Philippines will become great nation once again.
Dont attack Pres. DU30 by hiding & covering under human right or judicial killing.
(like that one who is cuddling prisons in the Bilibid)
The MEDIA has to support & not to find mistake & accused by using curve & zigzag write-up (or not even a mistake yet)…they have to motivate the community to be one nation. Attack those DRUGS related syndicates & the ILLEGAL BUSINESS TRADE & INDUSTRIES including officials in the government who owns MINING BUSINESS in the country.
“The ‘classic’ French Revolution encompassed both definitions: it overthrew both the monarchy as well as the medieval culture of obeisance to the Church and its dogmas.”
The oversimplification is understandable in a mere article. However “Church and its dogmas”? There you go again, I would have to say. The “ancien regime” was what went with the bathwater. As envisioned by the “philosophe” or the intellectuals in the age of Reason or Enlightenment, everything “ancient” had to go. Except that “Gallicanism” was as ancient as Gaul (France) itself. They could not throw it out; it was in their blood as Gauls. It is the idea that Church properties and personnel must be controlled by the French Government. But Gallicanism itself was the underlying motif. Even the First Estate (Clergy) went along with the French Revolution for the sake of France which found itself in bankruptcy from their costly involvement with the American Revolution and the lavish expenditures of King Louis XVI and his predecessors. The National Constituent Assembly (“Con-Ass”?) had to declare war on Austria and Prussia over issues of “counter-revolution” despite their bankruptcy. Napoleon Bonaparte ended the French Revolution with a coup de tat on 11-9-1899. He continued the motif of “Gallicanism” to the point of imprisoning the Pope. History is as much about ideas as events. Religious dogmas are distinct from secular (or Marxist) dogmas. One either accepts or rejects religious dogmas. Obeisance equals external gestures; internal assent applies to religious dogmas.
these digresses . the relevant focus is whether you are for the DU30’s revolution or not.
thanks for the ‘dogma’ lecture though. saves browsing time in the internet.
The shortest way is to declare a revolutionary government, and Duterte has mentioned doing this and abolishing congress. Nowadays he goes around military camps rallying the troops. Rallying the troops for what, martial law? The guy may act like a probinsiyano, but he looks like a resurrected version of Marcos to me. And he called the American ambassador a bakla? Ganyan ang gusto kong presidente ! To pray for Duterte is to pray for the people.
in other countries….
the rich is helping the poor…
in the Philippines…
we have mercenaries rich who doesn’t care…
in fact, they allow drugs and gambling to destroy this country….
DU30 is the current antibiotics….
the only hope of this country’s ill…
if ever the enemy will kill him…
heck will break loose…
Well said.. Very well said.
Wish Duterte all the luck. I believe he has the best of intentions but he should always keep in mind that “the end does NOT justify the means.” Until he is successful in changing our laws, he must abide by them, including due process and equal protection, rich or poor alike. Perhaps he can be guided by the late President Magsaysay who said ‘Those who have less in life should have more in law.”
general bato dela rosa after digong.. for 2022…
Sobrang SS naman nito. I have more respect for Mr. Tiglao’s intellect than the cursing guy from ABS-CBN. But oh my he is starting to sound like that cono. No Mr. Tiglao, this is certainly not a revolution. This is the tantrum of an old man who can no longer raise IT up. LOL. But seriously it is a preparatory effort for the establishment of a dictatorial regime. Officially that is.
a yellowish brain washed will remain a wash out brain forever..
Now let me ask you a question. Can you still raise that teeny weenie thing up yourself? LOL !!! At least the old man you are referring to in your comment to change things for the benefit of the people… unlike big mouthed nincompoops who can only use their useless pea brained mind to criticize. TSK…TSK….
too shallow, and too pro yellow. Opinions like this are no longer relevant. It’s not Du30 who’s old, it’s your kind of thinking. Just stay home and play with yourself.
Buti na lang wala na ang putan-inang NOYTARD.Nakahinga na ng maluwag ang bayan sa pagkawala ni ABNOY sa poder.
This is the first time i am reading your column after 6years.
Today I agree with you.
the edsa people revolt did not produced the change people want but instead put the country deeper into the quagmire of corruption lead by yellow gansters inthe beaurocrat. The present revolution we may call the “D” (Davao or Digong) peoples’ revolt is clearly supported by more than 90% of populace.
Great article! I wish Supremo Duterte all the best in health, wisdom and leadership. Finally, the Philippines has a genuine President. The success of his revolution would also be the victory of the Filipino masses. Godspeed our dearest President!
This is the leader we been waiting for too long. Let us support him!!
This is a new thought to meditate deeply, whether what we are seeing are the true indica tors of a new type of revolution. I for myself is looking forward to that era for a total change – politically and economically.
A Revolutionary Government! What do you think?
“Payag ba kayo na magdeklara ng revolutionary government si Pres Duterte? YES/NO pls give your age gender at lokasyon www/surveyngbayan.com”
Nationwide Survey through mobile phones was conducted from June 27 to June 30, 2016.
The Query set: 198697 randomly extracted from 137.5 million cell phones.
Raw Response Set: 1,138.
Valid Response set: 668
Results at the 99 percent level of confidence and 5 percent margin of error:
45 % NO
42 % YES
13 % No Opinion
While there is a plurality that does not approve of the declaration of a revolutionary government, the difference between 45% and 42% is narrow enough such that these diverging opinions are statistically tied given the margin of error of 5%.
yes, 57yrs old female qc
I quite agree!
Duterte is not our last chance,,,,,,,we will never have a chance as long as we look for the solutions in a super hero………until we , the people realize the WE have to change the status quo,,,,,,,that we have to create new courts that is not under the generational
judiciary,,,do you know that the most of the legal profession is corrupt and that scions of ex and retired justices continue their ways like that of political dynasties ?
I am not recommending anything,,,,,,,,at the moment just realization that the people
have to do it themselves,,,,,,,not electing FANTASY superheros from politicians !
Yes indeed he is and if we missed this chance its going to be like the chinese proverb that lucks come only one once at a time with a long hair and if we miss to grab hold on one of the hair you’ll be left in limbo and again wait for the next time the lucks to come by. Yes the way things are manifesting its a sign of revolution. Revolution by definition is to get rid or to overthrow a social order for a change. The Philippines is like a ship and its no longer sea worthy to sail because its plague with defects that needs dry docking. Once the ship is sea worthy to sail it will be manned by a new captain and new crew members.
Good writing, thanks for this in-depth, timely, serious and realistic piece of analysis.
The intent is clear and for the good of the nation, rev is what we need, so how can we help in the overthrow or overhaul of the old systems without too must cost in human life?
With powerful internal enemies, and china threathening to swallow us, we have to give what we can to support it; we can not fail, its our last chance (-IMHO as an ordinary pilipino), so what needs to be done?
The president might need good data/intel gathering, analysis, guidance for executive actions, corrective actions, etc. – perhaps an intelligent, responsible maka-pilipino media, with a bit of erudition and wisdom can possibly help in this regard – enlighten and give guidance for the sake of nation building.
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