It is everything and confusing, this whole enterprise of the Chacha or Charter Change. Because really, you listen to these congressmen and it seems like ChaCha isn’t related to a ConAss or Constituent Assembly isn’t related to GMA staying in power. And where is House Resolution 1109 – which was passed Tuesday night – in all of this?
The ConAss is one of the ways through which changes to the 1987 charter or constitution may be made. The ConAss will create a bicameral Philippine congress, which will bring together the Senate and Congress, to amend and revise the existing constitution. This process of changing the constitution we’ve come to call ChaCha.
BUT HR 1109 actually convenes a constitutional assembly that will be allowed to amend the constitution even without the Senate. To the proponents of this resolution — and the majority of Congress — this will only mean inviting the Senate to join in the ConAss. And yet, really, if the senators don’t need to vote, why the f*^! would they want/need to be there?
On the level of congress, the fact that HR 1109 was going to be discussed in the plenary – that is, to be debated on by the representatives – was problematic to begin with. HR 1109 was rejected by the committee on constitutional amendments two weeks ago, and yet on Monday (June 1), the committee wanted it to be discussed in the plenary. When BayanMuna Rep Satur Ocampo raised the issue of rules, i.e., no resolution should be up for discussion in the plenary without being approved on the committee level they thought that it would take a while before HR 1109 would be brought up again.
But on Monday night, the committee on constitutional amendments suddenly has a positive vote for HR 1109 being brought to the plenary. By Tuesday afternoon, it was clear that they were going to railroad it – they after all have the numbers.
Now how will all this keep GMA in power?
Once the ConAss is convened, then the process of ChaCha will be underway. The goal is really to change our system of government from presidential to parliamentary, which will allow GMA to run – and obviously win – for congresswoman in her native Pampanga. Given that she has majority of the congressmen in her pockets, and these congressmen will necessarily win – by hook or by crook – in the 2010 elections (which Def. Sec. Puno has promised will happen, obvious ba kung bakit?), this will allow GMA to get elected as Prime Minister.
This was actually the headline of the Philippine Daily Inquirer on May 13: “GMA may run for PM. The use of “May” here isn’t “possibly run for PM”; instead it is “allowed to run for PM”.
Congress has said that having passed HR 1109, they are now aiming for a July 27 opening of the Constitutional Assembly, after GMA’s State of the Nation Address. Of course they also insist that there will be a referendum naman, to find out if the nation agrees with the amendments to the constitution. But really, diyan pa ba naman sila hindi mandadaya?
And as Sen. Pangilinan says, there is no money or time or capability for that referendum. The Comelec isn’t ready, which makes that referendum even more suspicious.
GMA and her cohorts insist that HR 1109, the ConAss and the ChaCha, are all about removing the 40% limit on foreign equity on land and businesses in the country. But this is even more reason to fight the ChaCha. As it is, our farmers are fighting for land and life; as it is, the multinational/transnational corporations are oppressing our workers, controlling wage and benefits, disallowing unions, functioning autonomously from the State.
Using this as an excuse should get us even angrier. Salt on an open wound? Insult to injury? Or, what do they take us for? Stupid?
RAGE! Today, June 3, in the streets of Congress. Come as individuals, as groups, as Filipinos who want to Oust GMA!
It is so fluggin’ time.