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Cha Cha – The Majority Dance

Philippines has had six (6) Constitutions so far: The 1899 Malolos Constitution—the first Constitution of the country and the first Republican Constitution in the whole of Asia; The two American Organic Acts during their occupation which served as Philippine Constitutions—the First Organic Act of 1902 and The Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916; The 1935 Commonwealth Constitution—ratified through a plebiscite, a carbon copy of U.S. Constitution; The 1973 Marcos Constitution—a shift from Presidential to Parliamentary system of government (which only happened in papers, but a contrived way to skillfully extend Marcos’ holding on power); and The cursory formulated 1986 Freedom Constitution—a.k.a. Cory’s short-lived Interim Constitution stamped for the Interim Revolutionary Government which was used solely to restore freedom. This was soon changed to the now-present 1987 Constitution drafted then by the 48 appointed members and duly ratified by the people through a nationwide plebiscite.

There is a spurious Constitution other than the above-mentioned ones that was ratified during the Japanese occupation by the collaborators; however, this really doesn’t count as this was conscripted into the powerless people.

At present, the Lower House recently voted to pass a Resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention (Charter Change or Cha-Cha) to amend the Constitution. Three Hundred and One (301) lawmakers voted in favor (all belonging to Majority Bloc), and only six (6) voted against (all members of the Minority) with one (1) abstention. Three Hundred of these lawmakers signed as co-authors of the Resolution purportedly to amend the economic provisions in the Constitution. If the Senate adopts this Resolution, this will be the first time that a presently active Constitution will be unlocked for amendment(s).

All past Constitutions of our country were either discarded or rewritten in toto for one reason or another, but never in history that any of it was merely subjected to “finite or confined” amendment than what the latest Resolution of the House approved. This is the daunting part—they frantically rationalize the need for economic growth of the country by modifying economic provisions ONLY in the Constitution, which time and again are blamed for the stagnant and worsening foreign investments. In order to mollify the critics and the doubters, propagandists term it to some extent as a somewhat “Hybrid Constitutional Convention Amendment”. A hidden agenda by some enterprising and dubious group no one knows may possibly be lurking under the amendment skirt but with the ultimate goal of achieving their atrocious self-serving interest—the abolitions of term limits, the anti-dynasty Law, and who knows even the repel of the Plunder Law, among others.

Cong. Gabby Bordado of the 3rd District of Camarines Sur in his opposition to this Charter Change move said, “Any action we make towards this step should be done so with careful consideration and thorough preparation”. He is absolutely right because we all know that once the Constitution is opened—it will also open the floodgates to countless other possible ancillary changes in the Constitution to further cement the diabolical political agenda of the usual suspects.

And, why do it in this time of crisis, Cong. Gabby rightfully asked—when we are faced with the uncontrollable graft and corruption, the smuggling of sugar, rice, oil, onions, illegal drugs, the human trafficking by Immigration officials, the skyrocketing inflation which resulted to higher prices of eggs, bread gasoline, and electricity and almost all prime commodities, the plight of OFWs and the exodus of Health Care workers especially Nurses which resulted to the acute supply of nurses in the country, and many more…and how about the unsolved multi-billion Peso Pharmally scandal involving high officials of the land and the high profile Senators involved in the Napoles plunder case, and the interminable injustice being done to Sen. Laila de Lima, to name a few? All these will be buried down and evidently forgotten under the massive headlines and by the vastly preoccupied public on Charter Change debates.

Heraclitus, the Greek Philosopher said: “There is nothing permanent in this world except change”. This is unquestionably true. But, change should be done at the right time. Not all change is for the better. Timing is very important. Change can also be bad especially if it is forced and paired with megalomaniac interest.

In the same breath, the majority is not always right. When the majority pursues their interest untimely, it is wrong because the position that they take does not always make it right even if it is supposedly for the “welfare of the people” as the author of the Resolution blurted out in the plenary hall. As the saying goes, he is out of tune.

Cong. Gabby Bordado, Jr. stands with the five other minority Representatives who voted against the Resolution. They have the courage to be in such a hopeless position, being with the Minority. They stood up unafraid and unwavering on their stand. Strong convictions are uncommon and rare nowadays that still live in the hearts of these six. Hats off to them!


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