Friday, February 24, 2006

Gloria's Constitutional Commission is Trash

I have not slept in 48 hours. My brain is in dire need of rest, but in light of how the pace of life has quickened, I'd like to share an email received today that lightened my heart and caused great happiness at a time when so little is experienced:

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


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 June 30, 2010, coinciding with those of the incumbent President and Vice-President and the twelve Senators elected in 2004.

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 June 30, 2010. The incumbent President and Vice-President shall be subject to the same disqualification and manner of removal as provided in this Constitution.

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.

1 comment:

Bert M. Drona said...

These "politics of the streets," etc. led by diverse groups of conflicting interests and the Arroyo regime reacting to them are nothing new; we've been there, done that: in EDSA 1, EDSA 2 and EDSA 3 (if the Oakwood Mutiny is lumped with both). We will only have more of the same.

As we all see/experience, the long-run results are the same: ever-worsening existence for the majority. Because we, the so-called educated among the middle class and up, only talk among and plan for ourselves, only think within a caged mentality, without looking at and/or avoiding the need to deal with the root causes of our socioeconomic problems, which requires questioning our basic assumptions: the socioeconomic system we inherited from America and unquestioningly practice/propagate. We do not question because we profit from it.

And at the same time we ignore and put down the poor and ignorant, we are that arrogant and cocksure. Thus, we all get bogged down and spent on personalities among our so-called leadership who,then and now,still have no honest desires and actions that would lead to public good (It is so discouraging and outrageous to see an endless pretense/show to "fool the people, buy the people and off the people.)"

Most of these personalities are from within our ranks of so-called educated class; and many of us desire to be among these personalities in power: in government to make and have our share in the people's money cum power.

Thus we want to keep the majority ignorant and use them only for our own selfish purposes. We know that with an ignorant majority, we can easily fool and get no pressure from them to have us change our decisions which adversely impact the majority in the long haul. Radical changes for their betterment and for the common good will therefore not come from us.

Unless the majority of the populace are made to raise their national consciousness (nationalism) and thus gain national unity and united action, fundamental changes for the generations of Filipinos, for their common good will never come to fruition. Of course, again, deep down we so-called educated do not want these fundamental changes to occur.

So we continue to self-destruct as a people, WHILE our foreign "friends and /or naturalized citizens," i.e. Chinese, American, Japanese, Canadian, Korean, etc. thanks to the WTO, laugh at us and enjoy themselves in our house, i.e. homeland, take our women and children, our patrimony: our land and its minerals, buy off/shut our factories, convert our agricultural lands into malls and golf course, steal our accumulated native knowledge, etc. all so very cheaply with our devaluated peso. At the same time, depriving millions of natives of decent jobs. We the so-called educated are traitors by allowing these economic disasters to perpetuate since we can still go on with our selfish and merry ways.

It's been 40+ years since we last enjoyed a "Filipino First" national policy, to look out for #1, i.e. us native but decolonized Filipinos.

I hope it will not be as long, that I witness a nationalist, true revolution (not these at best short-term revolts) by a middle class and the impoverished majority, both nationalistic and working together to stop us in our repeated self-destruction.

A true nationalist revolution to overthrow our economic system that only maximizes profits for foreigners and their local partners and politics that is characterized by foreign subservience; and replaced with a socioeconomic system and culture that caters first to the impoverished majority and generations of native Filipinos to come.