VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Marcos did NOT declare a revolutionary government

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has declared a revolutionary government in the Philippines

YouTube channel PINAS NEWS INSIDER 01/15/2024 False

Marcos did not place the country under a revolutionary government nor were there any mentions from official government channels and news reports that he plans to do so. It was Salvador Panelo who said that Rodrigo Duterte is urging Marcos to declare a revolutionary government.

Amid recent moves to amend the Constitution, a video on YouTube and Facebook (FB) is claiming that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has established a revolutionary government. This is not true. Marcos has made no such declaration. 

Uploaded on Jan. 15, the video bore the following in its thumbnail: 

OMG! REVGOV NA! PBBM TINAPOS ANG KONGRESO. MATINDING UTOS! (Oh my god! Revolutionary government now! PBBM ended Congress. Extreme order)!”

Its headline also carried this line:

KAKAPASOK LANG Grabe to! Biglaang Utos! walang Nagawa ang Kongres0! Utos PBBM FPRRD PANELO VPSARA! (Just in, this is harsh! Sudden order! Congress was not able to do anything! Order from PBBM, former President Rodrigo Duterte, Panelo, Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio).” 

Marcos did not place the country under a revolutionary government. There is no presidential decree to that effect and neither is there any pronouncement from official government channels nor news reports that he plans to do so. 

It is not true that President Bongbong Marcos has declared a revolutionary government. Former presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo only said in an SMNI program that former president Rodrigo Duterte is urging Marcos to declare a revolutionary government.

It was former Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo who said in his Jan. 10 SMNI program that former president Rodrigo Duterte is urging Marcos to declare a revolutionary government and assume both executive and legislative powers, similar to what the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. did during martial law.

While there is no exact legal definition of what a revolutionary government is, former Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said that establishing one “automatically abrogates the Constitution and vests all government power in the President alone” while Congress and the SC, which currently are independent branches of government, could only function with the approval of the president.

The Philippines previously had a revolutionary government established by Emilio Aguinaldo in 1897 and 1898-1899 at the height of the revolution against Spain. 

Former president Corazon Aquino also placed the country under a provisional revolutionary government after the 1986 People Power Revolution. The provisional government ceased to exist after the ratification of the 1987 Constitution. 

Calls for a revolutionary government were made during the Duterte administration to hasten the transition to a federal form of government. 

The video emerged days after Panelo made the comment in his program and amid proposals for charter change being made in Congress. 

Uploaded by YouTube channel PINAS NEWS INSIDER, XCREW and TUNAY NA KRITIKO, the erroneous video garnered a total of 181,565 interactions. FB page Pinas News Insider also reposted the clip.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)