Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Joining the June 10 Anti-Con Ass rally to speak FOR Charter Change

In picking your allies, you better ask: Is the enemy of my enemy really the enemy of my enemy and therefore still my enemy and not my friend?
(Read it again and again until you attain enlightenment, meet Buddha, or attain Nirvana.)

I'm going to the what in my view is basically an Anti-Charter Change rally on June 10 (that's tomorrow) and I'll holler FOR Charter Change. Yup! If given a chance at the microphone, I'll speak my mind about the changes I want to be made in the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

It may appear to be idiotic to root for Charter Change in a Anti-Charter Change rally. But heck, it's even more idiotic to participate in an Anti-Charter Change without realizing that it really isn't an Anti-Charter Change rally.

Some smart ass will probably say and argue for a fine distinction, 'Of course it isn't an Anti-Charter Change rally, it's an Anti-Con Ass rally!"

But isn't it Con Ass or a Constituent Assembly a legislative body convened for the purpose of amending or changing the constitution? If it is, and IT IS, then the rally tomorrow is an Anti-Charter Change rally that is shaping up to be a false Anti-Charter Change rally.

But, again, it isn't. Nope.

I may be exasperating you right now, so let me just simply point out that what will happen tomorrow is anti-Gloria Forever rally as well as a 'vote-for-me-because-I-am-against-Gloria' rally.

Let me explain why.

The stupid formula being fed to the stupid masses right now is this: Charter Change equals Gloria Forever. So, therefore, if you are against Gloria Forever, you should be against Charter Change.

The reason for doing this is simple and it is this: Very few people really care about Charter Change but a lot more people are against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. By saying and selling Anti-Charter Change as an anti-Gloria Forever movement, you get the attention of a lot of people against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and therefore a draw bigger crowd.

In fact, as far as anti-Gloria forever movements are concerned, some senators who were once military officials and some military officials who want to become senator have tried to trump the anti-Charter Change/Anti-Gloria Forever rally with THREATS OF A MILITARY BACKED UPRISING. But, I think no one's going to buy into this one after the yellow bellied drama of the Manila Peninsula siege robbed them of whatever credibility they may have had.

What really riles me up right now is the idea that the issue of Charter Change has basically boiled down to an issue of whether we like or dislike the person proposing it.

If you don't believe me, try answering the following questions:

What is the difference between Mar Roxas (if he becomes President) and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo espousing charter change?

I'll bet you, there will be little or no difference except the personalities involved.

Believe it or not, Mar Roxas is for Charter Change but perhaps he will not admit it openly at the Anti-Charter Change rally because it's just going to be confusing to the dumb (yes and also stupid and ignorant) masses he is inundating with his TV commercials.

You see, the C-D-E socio economic classes or the masa, as they are called, only understand issues if it is presented as a set of binary choices or a zero-sum set of options. The options have to be either yes or now, black or what, left or right, sa pula o sa puti, dehado o llamado, pula o puti, matanda o bata, et cetera.

If you feel offended by this, don't be. The masses don't really care about reading blogs and so if you are reading this, you are not a member of the masses I am referring to. (And if you insist that the masses will be offended by my blog entry, JUST TRY EXPLAINING WHAT A BLOG IS TO THEM.)

Anyway, I expect you to understand that the point I am trying to make is that the Anti-Charter Change rally tomorrow will be a friggin' political gimmick with no substance.

It is ODD that Senator Roxas is attending the Anti-Charter Change rally when he really is FOR charter change.

I know that he is FOR charter change because when I was working FOR him when he was DTI Secretary, he said that he was for Charter Change for a number of reasons. His reasons seemed valid to me:

- The present system of government with its checks and balances have created a gridlock where nothing moves, making it difficult to change and unresponsive to the needs of the people. He is for a shift to a parliamentary form of government.

- He is for longer terms of office for local and national officials, including the Prime Minister.

- Allowing foreigners to own land and 100 percent ownership of businesses.

What Roxas is really against is Gloria's an extension of her term as President, because, if that happens, he will not be able to run for President and he's not the type to participate in any kind of UPRISING that may cause force him to choose sides. This should be expected from someone who is a pedigreed fence sitter. Mar's lolo, Manuel Acuna Roxas was in the graces of the Japanese occupiers as their puppet and the Americans as their "spy".

Perhaps to amplify the publicity of Roxas' meaningless participating in the Anti-Charter Change rally, he'll bring his lady love Korina Sanchez. May be they'll both arrive on a padyak wearing garlands of garlic!

In any case, perhaps what would be a more honest and truthful Anti sentiment in the rally tomorrow may be that one is against House Resolution 1109.

House Resolution 1109, despite being labeled as a pro-Gloria Forever legislative measure, is really still within the bounds mandated by the constitution for Constitutional Amendments. It merely expresses the Lower House's intent to pursue Charter Change.

What will be contestable in court or judiciable (to borrow a word I do not really understand) is if they actually start amending the Constitution without the Upper House (Senate) also submitting a three fourths vote supporting a counterpart legislative measure expressing its intent to pursue Charter Change.

I am all for Charter Change, especially if it is to correct the flaws in the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

One major flaw that is staring the people right in the eye but no one is taking notice of is the very provision on amending the Constitution.

It has been said that the dispute regarding the process of amending the Philippine Constitution is that in the 1935 Philippine constitution which states that both houses of congress would vote for charter change jointly but separately. Meaning that the Lower House of congress would need a three fourths vote and the Upper House (Senate) would also need a three fourths to either pursue charter change through Constituent Assembly (where members of congress themselves amend the constitution) or Constitutional Convention (where delegates are elected to amend the constitution).

What is needed is to amend the provision to state clearly that to amend the Constitution, the Lower House and Upper House must vote for charter change JOINTLY but SEPARATELY.

Perhaps another thing that we ought to clarify in the constitution through amendment is to state definitely that ELECTED Presidents (even if they are deposed) will no longer be elected again.

This should stop Former President Joseph Estrada from seeking re-election.

I am certain there are other changes that ought to be made, but the key here is that whatever changes we propose in the Constitution should be talked about extensively and decided on in a manner that will include everybody's involvement.

Because, after all, democracy is about intelligently participating in its processes.

1 comment:

betterphilippines said...

in my own blog. i posted a "no to con-ass" button. i must admit when i did that i wasn't really thinking about con-ass i was thinking about the possibility of "gloria forever". i guess what i'm saying is my fear of "gloria forever" got the best of me and under that state of blind fear i proceeded to post that "no to con-ass" button.

the truth is i am also for charter change though am not really sure which mode is better. all i know is that this con-ass mode smells shitty because most congressmen are allied with the president.

in any case, i agree tomorrow's anti-con-ass rally will just turn out to be an anti-gloria rally and anyone with political ambitions will just use it to gain media mileage for their own campaigns.

i wouldn't mind it if the rally turns out to be an anti-gloria rally. i will, however, be upset if i see mar roxas or any other political figure seeking election or re-election taking the stage.

the organizers of this rally should consider banning any politican from getting up onstage. and those politicians should just refrain from participating. incumbent lawmakers like roxas and even rissa baraquel should not attend that gathering. if they want to voice out their objections to "con-ass" or "gloria forever" they should just do so in the house of representatives and the senate.

i guess i should take down that "no to con-ass" button from my blog and replace it with another button that more acurately shows my true feelings.

i am against "gloria forever."

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