BY JEFFREY DAMICOG
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) said on Monday it is illegal for any group to call for a revolutionary government.
“There is no legal basis for any revolutionary government because the essence of a revolutionary government is that it is established outside the law, extra-constitutionally and extra-legally,” said IBP President Domingo Egon Cayosa during an interview over CNN Philippines.
Cayosa pointed this out after the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC) called for the establishment of a revolutionary government through a people’s initiative and retain President Duterte as its head.
Cayosa believes what the group is doing could be considered inciting to sedition in violation of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
“Inciting to sedition is you’re not doing the seditious act itself but by your words and publications and your manifestos you are stirring up the populace to cause them to be disloyal to the government, put government in a bad light and disrupt the operations of government,” he explained.
“Once you start doing that it could cross the border between what is allowable speech and what is inciting to sedition that is punishable under the Revised Penal Code,” Cayosa pointed out.
“The right to freedom of expression is not absolute. The criminal laws limit them, one of those criminal laws is the Revised Penal Code,” he reminded the public.
Because of this, Cayosa urged law enforcement and prosecutors to look into the possibility of filing charges against the group including inciting to sedition.
“If the prosecutors and the law enforcers see the crossing of the line and it amounts to inciting to sedition, a violation of Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code, I think they should do their job and charge them accordingly,” he said.
The lawyer stressed that “the fact that they are supporters of the President does not exempt them from the provisions of the Revised Penal Code.”
“Changing the Constitution is perfectly legal but you do it through legal means. You cannot work outside the processes prescribed by the Constitution which is through a constitutional convention, through a constituent assembly by both houses of Congress working together, or by a people’s initiative,” he explained.