Panelo eyeing ‘Constitutional dictatorship’ is an insult to Martial Law freedom fighters – Baguilat

Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr. hit Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo for considering a “constitutional dictatorship” for the president to stop the country’s problems.

“All Filipinos, including Panelo, owe the freedoms that they enjoy today to the steep sacrifice made by the thousands of activists, freedom fighters and advocates who brought down Martial Law and then successfully toppled the Marcos dictatorship in February 1986,” Baguilat said.

He added that the fact that Panelo dared to suggest that the kind of freedom enjoyed by Filipinos be suppressed due to constitutional dictatorship is an insult “to the price that the generations before paid to secure the freedoms guaranteed in the current Constitution and that should not be tolerated or entertained.”

Baguilat said that it is “painful” to see a lawyer like Panelo “advocate a position that is scorned by the very Constitution on which he made a living.”

Last week, Panelo told the ANC that is considering giving the legislative and executive powers to Duterte.


“What I am saying is, it’s constitutional. You revise the Constitution, give the powers to the President, (the) legislative and executive powers. So, in a sense it’s like dictatorship because he has two powers but all of them are constitutional,” Panelo said.

“Kaya ko pino-propose iyon, because palaging nagpe-fail ang president natin, eh at iyon ang palaging sinasabi, ‘We need this power, we need that.’ So sabi ko di bigyan na lang natin, so there is no more excuse not to fail,” Panelo added.

Baguilat deems the suggestion “arrogant.”

“The proposal for constitutional dictatorship, founded on the removal of checks and balances, demonstrates the belief that the president or his Cabinet has the monopoly of ideas that can benefit the nation. This is not only unrealistic and myopic, it is also outrightly arrogant,” Baguilat said.

Baguilat said that while he believes illegal drugs and crimes are serious problems in the Philippines that require everyone’s support, the campaign should be done the right way.

“[B]ut these campaigns should be executed the right way, one that will not mean making shortcuts and just throwing away the Constitution,” he said.

Sources: (,


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