Overhauling, not changing, the 1987 Charter

Overhauling, not changing, the 1987 Charter

Mar 20, 2023, 6:57 AM
OpinYon Editorial

OpinYon Editorial


Suspicions about changing not just the economic provisions of the 1987 Charter, but overhauling it to include political amendments like removing term limits of elected officials, are slowly being confirmed, and this has been causing rage among the people.

In his recent column, Artemio Villasenor Panganiban Jr., the 21st Supreme Court Chief Justice, called it a “sneaky attempt to overhaul, not just amend or revise the Constitution.”

He was referring to the interview of Karen Davila to Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, principal author of the hybrid Constitutional Convention, which the House overwhelmingly (301 for, 6 against and 1 abstained) adopted a resolution accompanying his bill, candidly said the ConCon, once convened cannot be prevented from overhauling the entire Constitution, including the institution of a federal-parliamentary system and infinite term extensions for lawmakers and other politicians.

Gross. It means they are perpetually going to plunder and make a mockery of us all and tamper on any Constitutional rights we currently enjoy through what they call a (rubber stamp) voting among themselves.

Ang kakapal ng mga mukha nitong mga congressmen na ito. Shameless to the bone and they do not even hide their greed and ambition to stay in power forever.

Panganiban said “if the intention is really to amend only the restrictive economic provisions, why not just convene a constituent assembly (con-ass) and get “a three-fourths vote of all (the) members” of Congress, voting separately? With the overwhelming vote cast for the con-con, I am sure the House can easily muster the needed three-fourths vote.”

Panganiban further said since the House is adopting the “hybrid” proposal of retired CJ Reynato S. Puno, why not honestly and openly adopt the recommendations of the “Consultative Commission” he chaired during the term of former president Rodrigo Duterte, among which is the federal system. After all, these recommendations were supposedly formulated after unbridled deliberations by experts in constitutional law and political science. While I do not support the federal system, I believe this Charter change (Cha-cha) route is more honest and less devious.”

Sen. Robinhood Padilla, the main dance proponent in the Senate, vehemently opposes the con-con because economic liberalization can easily be achieved through a con-ass that can use laser surgery to excise only the restrictive provisions. In this way, the multibillion- peso expenses for electing con-con delegates and for their salaries, per diems, allowances, transportation, etc. could be avoided and put to better use for the more urgent priorities of President Marcos,” Panganiban explained.

Panganiban said he thinks that if Cha-cha ever pushes through—and it should not—it must be held transparently and devoid of slyness and deviousness. The good news is that Senate President Migz Zubiri announced last week that Cha-cha is not the Senate’s priority. That should stop the music and noise of Cha-cha, whether sneaky or open—for now.

For several months now, we have been asking the people to shun and fight off dynasties and perpetual rulers as they would seize power (for life) and deprive us of our basic rights to a dignified life and inclusiveness in governance and decisions of our country. We do not need tyrants, autocrats and dictators that these so-called representatives are asking us now to accept. We do not need people telling us what or what not to do with our lives. Dynastic rule is what they are leading us to with this charter change overhaul.

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