Cha-cha resurrects, dies again


Draft constitutions almost always reach the House of Representatives’ plenary level.

However, they always fail to make it when they are brought before the Senate for the upper chamber’s version.

Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s draft constitution that has reached plenary is predicted to be thrown to the Senate’s trash can.

Chances of changes in the Charter may be possible, only through some amendments in provisions, but not in the matter of changing the entire Constitution.

First off, there are always politicians who douse cold water on any change of the present Charter on account of their suspicions that the change is being made to benefit the ruling party and with the opposition being disadvantaged.

Or, being in opposition, they will always oppose that which they had approved of when they were part of the ruling party. This is the way politics goes in this country.

But more importantly, too many Filipinos just don’t know too much, if at all, about the Constitution and its provisions that are being breached.

Speaker Arroyo’s draft charter that has reached the House plenary, is immediately seen to benefit herself as a second term Speaker, due to the provision in the draft charter lifting term limits, as she can have a fourth term and remain Speaker of the House—until at least 2022, so say the opposing forces.

Gloria has many times stated that she is retiring from politics in 2019, when her third term is up, but few appear to be convinced, and suspicions have been raised by the aboveground commies in the House that say her proposed Charter change (Cha-cha) will fulfill her ambition to remain Speaker for yet another term.

It really does not matter whether or not the House approves Gloria’s draft charter, since the Senate will be the biggest blockage to Cha-cha. Both the Senate and the House know that Cha-cha will not see the light of a plebiscite day since the Senate is against Cha-cha.

Senators too, don’t like the idea of being elected regionally, for the simple reason that while they may be popularly elected nationally, they may not win a Senate seat if elected by region where other kingpins control parts of the region.

The Speaker’s proposal retains the presidential form of government and gives Congress the power to create federal states. Sounds logical but will this pass muster in the Senate?
Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives will have no term limits, with each term lasting for four years.

Gloria certainly knows that it will be an uphill battle which she is likely to lose.

As President then, Gloria sought changes in the Constitution and formed a panel whose members and chairman she appointed to draft a proposed charter, and this was thumbed down by the majority of Filipinos who were against it, despite many not even understanding such proposed changes.

It is perhaps fair to state that opposing side won the battle against charter change, as the fear factor kicked in, with the opposing side bringing up the fear of turning the country’s system into a dictatorial state, always bringing up the martial law past that the anti-Marcos forces always bring up to scare the nation.

In similar fashion, when Joseph “Erap” Estrada was President, he also had a panel to come up with a proposal for a new charter. This too, failed.

In much the same vein, Fidel Ramos, then President, tried to stay longer in the presidency by coming up with a “People’s Initiative” which his “Pirma” supporters pushed but failed even in the High Court.

“Gloria has many times stated that she is retiring from politics in 2019 but few appear to be convinced.

Cory succeeded in changing the Marcos charter as she was seen as the opposite of Marcos, yet her own constitution which she called the “Freedom Constitution” allowed her to become the sole government and the sole law as an absolute dictator.

Generally speaking, on the matter of political dynasties, it is always the leftists and other politicians who have no “political heirs” in their respective families who oppose political dynasties, even when they give lip service to proposals for political dynasties.

Truth is, some of these politicians who are advocates of term limits and opposed to political dynasties are one of the first ones to field their sons and daughters to take their place.

If one sees things positively, it perhaps can be said that political dynasties exploded in this country due to term limits imposed by the Constitution.

Since these old politicians were stymied in their efforts to stay in power and position but continue to have the support of the electorate, they put in their spouse and their children to take not only their seat, but also have them run for lower seats.

Besides, it should never be the Constitution, drafted by a few congressmen and senators to stop the electorate from voting in anyone of their choice, even if the candidates of their choice are morons or A-Holes.

After all, it is always said that people always get the government they deserve — but only if they have not been cheated out of their sovereign will.