Resurrecting the Already-Buried Sound of Cha-Cha

19 06 2007

For Speake Jose deVenecia, the issue of charter change never died: never did it get buried. And if so, there are undying ways of resurrecting it.

At his closing speech before his colleagues last June 08, 2007, he urges the push for the amendment of the constitution. He said, “The only way to modernize the economy is to have charter change.” As he claims, he doesn’t even bother to care as to whether the mean to amend the political and economic provisions are through constitutional convention or people’s initiative, yet made a remark stating that he prefers the constituent assembly for its efficient way of changing.

The Speaker’s desperate move to push the shift to a parliamentary form of government seems too doubtful. To think that he would care less anymore as to how it will be changed, as long as the shifting will prosper, would be so dismal. A lot may think what grace should be in charter change as to why the speaker seems to be obviously ready to ressurect the already treated buried sound of Cha-Cha.

Cebu Representative Pablo Garcia gave a seemingly gist idea on the obdurate actions de Venecia’s trying to project towards the charter change. Garcia said that the very reason of the Speaker’s active effort to pursue cha-cha is because “he wants to seat himself as the Prime Minister” and for Lakas-CMD to maintain political influence.

Looking at the scenario, changing the constitution at this point where everyone seems to hold too tight on their much-desired positions would be very risky though rhetorically uttered that reasons to pursue Cha-Cha are for the betterment of the people. Taking it point by point, agreeing to change or merely amend the constitution could be used as an excellent tool for accumulation of power by the reigning and greedy political parties and political animals.

It is but hard for us to entrust the supreme written law of the land to people who now know nothing but to find ways on how to continuously embrace the power they are holding on. It is definitely difficult especially at this point when everyone’s seem to enjoy playing the game. In a place where most of your leaders are power-hungry, more than risky, it brings much of fright if you let those pieces of paper stating your rights and promoting the protection of your welfare be raped.

If teh charter got the flaws, we’ve got a worse problem; we have such dodgy leaders. So if we speak more of logic, more than the need to change the charter, change the corrupt and impotent leaders first. It could’ve been badly needed.

Alvin Quintans, National Deputy Secretary General

Student Council Alliance of the Philippines

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3 responses

22 06 2007
rodel abenoja

Charter Change is good if the people pushing it has no vested interest and it is well participated by the majority….

24 06 2007
Etta Pargas-Rosales

While you have criticized Speaker Jose de Venecia for bringing up charter change in his closing speech of the 13th Congress because he wants to be prime minister, as pointed out by Congressman-elect Pablo Garcia, may I suggest some concerns that have not been addressed.

The focus of debate has almost always remained with procedural questions as to the mode of changing the Charter. However, there is deafening silence on the substantive aspects. May I suggest that we look into this? You speak of the “rape of the rights” of the citizens. We can then start off with civil and political rights on two grounds:

1] The manipulation of the party list system in particular and the violence and fraud that accompanied local elections in general. The senatorial elections is feeling the squeeze now over the 12th seat.

2] The need to popularize discussion of the Human Security Act which goes into force this July. The USC through its program, the SLAAC headed by Leni Papa who perhaps works closely with you has invited me on the 29th of June at 4:30 p.m. in Palma Hall to discuss the HSA. I answered them through email that I would love to attend the Forum and should prepare for it.

Both concerns – the gross violations of the right of suffrage (Article V – Suffrage) and the threat to our civil liberties (Article III – Bill of Rights) are enshrined in the Constitution and are now being violated with impunity. The focus must be on the irresponsibility of the leadership in tolerating these Constitutional violations while arrogantly calling for the Charter’s amendments. These provisions as guarantees for civil and political rights must be spelled out in the daily life of the masses in language they understand.

SLAAC’s initiative on the 29th is a start. My hope is that the debate in UP can spill over to the 142 barangays of Quezon City in barangay caucuses where the people can participate. Likewise, let us hope that the dialog on the HSA can reach out to the the other barangays within Metro-Manila and in major urban centers. Equally, let us hope that somehow the HSA dialog can reach out to the numerous police stations all over Metro-Manila in order for the police to understand the 92 or so amendments put in by the Senate as restrictions against possible police abuse of civil and political rights in the performance of their duties. And from here to the other municipal-based police stations in major urban centers.

Of course such hopes can only be realized if SCAP strengthens its pro-active stand in the other universities and schools where it is based. From these schools, outreach programs to the communities can follow.

Congratulations on your good work. As the cliche goes, there’s a lot of sense in saying that the hope of our country and our people rests on the most steadfast sectors that seek for real and major reforms. They are able to do so because they are not corrupted and are motivated by a pure heart and a clear vision. The student sector counts among them.

Etta Pargas-Rosales
24 June 2007

8 07 2007
bianca lapuz

To start off, SCAP would like to thank those who gave their comments on this write up. We especially would like to give our response on the two substantive points, which Rep. Etta Rosales has raised.

First, indeed, we have resolutely believed that the GMA administration’s blatant and unwavering endorsement of Charter Change, not only overlooks the conditionality and pre-requisites of a genuine constitutional reform, but also overrides the apparent violation of several civil and political rights, in its desperate effort to remain in power.

The latest of which, as were pointed out by Rep. Rosales, were the undeniable interference of the administration in the recent party list elections and the very controversial Human Security Act, which will take effect this July.

The military and the police can only but ensure a full force implementation of HSA. SCAP will make certain that this issue shall be brought up and tackled extensively in all our education related activities in different campuses. The alliance will make sure that the student sector will continue to be vigilant in guarding our civil liberties as a people.

Towards a renewed vigor in the student movement!

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