On Charter Change

Manila Bulletin, January 20, 2006 | Go to article overview

On Charter Change


I AM AGAINST Charter change, because it is NOT necessary, beneficial, or practical. The problem in our country is not the form of government, but the lack of voter education, and the lack of political maturity. However, I shall keep an open mind, until after the Senate plenary debate.

I am STRONGLY IN FAVOR of elections in 2007, as provided by our Constitution. The pressure cooker has to let off steam.

I am IN FAVOR of President Arroyoas term until 2010, because it is constitutionally mandated, except only if she is removed by the full process of impeachment, as constitutionally mandated.

It was a waste of public funds to convene the Constitutional Commission, whose work is purely recommendatory. A comparative analysis of the parliamentary variants will show that the Con-com followed the German model; but already, Speaker De Venecia is proposing the French model. He is trashing the work of the Con-com!

For the past few days, some media seemingly equated the decisions of the Lakas party directorate, with decisions of the Congress. There is a planetary difference: Lakas is partisan, while Congress is capable of being bipartisan, since its members are directly accountable to the people.

Cha-cha unnecessary

As a general principle, I am against Charter change, because I have taught generations of UP law students that a Constitution is a permanent document. The oldest constitutions in the world have produced some of the most prosperous economies, namely, United States 1789, Australia 1901, Belgium 1831 (revised), Canada 1867 (revised), Finland 1919, Japan 1889 (rewritten), Mexico 1917, Netherlands 1814 (revised), Norway 1814, Switzerland 1874, United Kingdom unwritten.

Cha-cha not beneficial

If the same generation of traditional politicians remains in power, the form of government is merely hallucinatory. …

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