OF LATE, we were able to catch up with the tail-ender of a debate over ANC TV on the propriety, or otherwise, of the constitutional assembly—or something to that effect—as a mode of changing the Philippine Charter. This came shortly after the Supreme Court debunked People’s Initiative declaring what everybody already knew that it was after all somebody else’s initiative and not the peoples’, and thereby reducing the choices to Constituent Assembly and Constitutional Convention.
Watching the TV, we almost fell from our chair when the big-bellied congressman from the South setting on the pro side triumphantly arrogated that the Constituent Assembly is the best option because, aside from being the cheapest, it is already the choice of 120 or so representatives who are more equipped with ready intelligence more than whoever will be elected to the Constitutional Convention—if ever. What a way of saying. Of course, even the goats around Congress know that the reigning majority in the House is a whole bunch of somethings.
Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, in a statement issued last month says it more honestly: “We have reasons likewise to doubt the process whereby some from the House of Representatives plan to convert itself into a Constituent Assembly. Please pardon the term, but Charter Change by Congress converted into a Constituent Assembly will have all the appearance of “self-service” and “lutong makao.” We will pray against that.”
Besides, how proceed with objectively amending the Charter when a 120- majority is already pegged to an irreversible position and financially rewarding perspective to boot?
We used to say, give it to the marines! But who is fooling who? Even the marines sees clearly the distinction between a politician prolonging and saving his own neck, and the simple truth that changing the charter is not a necessity in solving the ills of this country. At least, not as necessary as blowing to smithereens corrupt officials and thieves in government.
Isn’t changing the constitution is a scapegoat? Of course, it is. And, by the gods, there is no mistaking about it.