Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cha-Cha: A Trojan Horse vs. GMA?

During the `watch’ of Pres. Ramos when Cha-cha was first floated around, we cautioned him (through a newspaper issue) that Cha-cha could be a Trojan horse to bring about the shortening of his term, or worse, his ouster. For it is a well settled principle in international law that once a constitutional body is convened, whether through con-con or con-ass that body becomes the supreme authority of the nation. Being such, it could make any changes in the Constitution, including altering the form of government, and of course, the shortening of the President’s term and even abolishing the position, with or without the consent of the incumbent. No law could set restriction or limitations to this supreme authority.

The Constitution, after all, is in fact “the organic instrument to which government owes its being… that from which their existence flows, and by which the powers (or portions of the right to govern), which may have been committed to them, are prescribed”. It is their commission – nay it is their creator. It is “the written instrument agreed upon by the people… as the absolute rule of action and decision for all departments and offices of the government… and in opposition to which any act or rule of any department, even of the people themselves, will be altogether void”. It is, in other words, the supreme written law of the land. (Bernas on the Constitution citing Kamper v. Hawkins, 1 Va Cas. 20, 24 (1793) and Colley, Constitutional Limitations (1868)).

Pres. GMA, is therefore, similarly forewarned!

Besides, Cha-cha at this time, is not appropriate for the following reasons:

  1. The 1987 Constitution has not been fully implemented to-date.Many of its provisions, like transparency, anti-dynasty, etc. which need enabling laws, have not been passed by Congress.
  2. When there is a political crisis, tinkering with the constitution is not the best time.
  3. Cha-cha is not a solution to the economic crisis. The government should stay focused on solving the economic problems instead. Cha-cha is divisive.
  4. The great majority of the people, as reflected in the surveys still prefer the presidential form of government.
  5. More extensive consultation with the people should precede any Cha-cha.

2 comments:

rolcanjr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rolcanjr said...

3 years ago, 2005, when the issue of Charter Change was initiated to purportedly solve the then ongoing crisis, I was a staunch supporter for a Parliamentary governance.

But... after what I've seen in Thailand in 2006, military coup, a swift change in power was at hand and a military junta was instated to protect the interests of the people. This I believe that neither a Congressional nor a Parliamentary form of governance is necessary.

Of course, I do not support anything relating to extra-constitutional means to remove government officials, most especially the President.

It's just that, effective governance is what the Philippines needs right now. Problem is, there is still the lingering effect or should I say the clear exposition of the padrino system this country employs since time immemorial.

But still, I do believe that this country will shine. Someday...