For Absolute Term Limit; (Editora[euro][TM]s Note: Constitutions Have a Brief Life Span in RP as Noted by the Author.)

Manila Bulletin, December 13, 2005 | Go to article overview

For Absolute Term Limit; (Editora[euro][TM]s Note: Constitutions Have a Brief Life Span in RP as Noted by the Author.)


SINCE the first election of senators and representatives in May 1987 the socalled experts on the Constitution have not bothered to take a closer look at the provision on term limit a" prohibiting a fourth threeyear stint for members of the House and local government officials from provincial governor down to municipal officials.

Controlling ambition?

The Con-Com members of 1986 were led into thinking that Filipino politicians would honorably control their ambition by obeying the constitutional limit.

According to one cafA[c] analyst: "The martial law regime of 13 years, five months, and four days (Sept. 21, 1972 to Feb. 25, 1986) created a pervasive sense of naivete that affected even the Cory Con-Com."

Forgetfulness and euphoria

The 47 members appointed by President Cory had allowed euphoria to rule the day and succumbed to colossal forgetfulness.

After three congressional elections, the representatives and local officials had fully prepared their successors: Wives, sons, daughters, nearest kin, and in some cases their No. 2. One No. 2 from the south was elected to the House, according to the ex-councilor from southern Visayas.

Resume of No. 2

The ex-councilor added: "She was given a form for her resume. Opposite the box SEX she wrote athree times a weeka in lieu of F (for female).

There was deafening silence for a few seconds, followed by an uproar. From the center table one regular raised his voice, saying "itas the fault of the 1986 ConCom for not applying a strict prohibition in such a case."

The retired prosecutor contradicted the selective prohibition as amounting to a violation of the Bill of Rights, even if the limit would discourage the perpetual abuse of public trust.

Cleansing our society

Among veteran analysts they havenat read the present draft proposals such as the following: 1) disqualification of politicians who have circumvented or made a big joke of the three-term limit; 2) disqualification of public officials who have impoverished RP since the end of martial law on Feb. …

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