I have notified members of the former ConCom that I dissociate myself from all ConCom activities and will oppose charter change. For I am now fully convinced that Mrs. Arroyo seeks not only to retain her Presidency but to expand her powers through charter change. Article XX, the ConCom transitory provisions, clearly define the strong motivation for Mrs. Arroyo’s determined efforts to get chacha ratified.
Here enclosed are the texts of Secs. 7, 9, and 11 to 13 of Art. XX. Sec. 7, the NO-EL provision, assure that the interim Parliament (2007-2010) will be filled with tried and proven allies, ready to do Pres. GMA’s bidding. The other cited sections, not as widely known, are more disturbing.
In a normal parliamentary system, the head of Government is the Prime Minister. He is elected to that post by his peers, the members of Parliament. Members of the cabinet are MP’s elected by the people. The President’s duties are ceremonial – to open Parliament, dissolve it upon advice of the Prime Minister, greet new ambassadors, be the symbol of national unity as Head of State. Compare those normal parliament’s features with the provisions in Secs. 9, and 11-13.
- Members of her cabinet will not be elected MP’s but appointed by the President. Per sec. 9, 1/3 of them shall become MP’s by her appointment. 30 other persons shall also be appointed MP’s by the President.
- The interim Parliament will elect an interim Prime Minister. But Sec 11 says he will not be the head of government but just a cabinet member. Sec. 12 makes clear he is a mere cabinet member, for the interim prime minister and the cabinet shall function “under the direction and supervision of the incumbent President “
- Sec. 13 states that “in the interim Parliament, the incumbent President shall exercise the powers vested in the Head of State and the Head of government under this Constitution”.
In my interpellation to oppose these provisions in ConCom, I asked if these were not the same powers that Marcos gave himself. Spontaneous answer by sponsor of the provision Raul Lambino - YES.
Secs. 9 and 11-13 should by now have been opposed by Congress, for downgrading the interim Parliament.. But they have not. Developments leave me no doubt GMA herself is pushing these provisions. In a new body to promote chacha, the co-chairs - Attys. Romela Bengzon and Raul Lambino – were main sponsors in ConCom of these onerous sections. The appointment of Cong Puno to DILG, given his well known dagdag bawas and other election distorting skills, further confirms to us that GMA will leave no stone unturned for chacha and Article XX to be ratified by any means.
Vicente T. Paterno
21 February 2006
ARTICLE XX – TRANSITORY PROVISIONS
In Proposed Revision of the Constitution by Consultative Commission
SEC. 7. The elections scheduled in 2007 shall be cancelled and the terms of office of all elective officials shall be extended to
The first elections of Members of the Parliament and the first local elections under this Constitution shall be held on the second Monday of May 2010.
SEC. 9. The Members of the interim Parliament shall be the incumbent members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, at least one-third of the Cabinet, with portfolio, and thirty persons, experienced and experts in their respective fields, shall likewise become members of the Parliament upon appointment by the President.
S.EC. 11. The interim Parliament, by a majority vote of all its members, shall elect an interim Prime Minister. He shall be a member of the Cabinet.
SEC. 12. Under the direction and supervision of the incumbent President; the interim Prime Minister and the Cabinet shall exercise all the powers and functions and discharge the responsibilities of the regular Prime Minister and Cabinet under this Constitution.
SEC. 13. In the interim Parliament, the incumbent President shall exercise the powers vested in the Head of State and the head of Government under this Constitution, except the power to dissolve this Parliament, until the expiration of her term on
In case a vacancy arises by reason of removal, resignation, permanent incapacity or death of the incumbent President, the incumbent Vice-President shall become the President.