In a new complaint posted to Filipino Voices yesterday, Primer C. Pagunuran laments that “the future of a forthcoming charter change is bright not bleak” in describing – surprisingly, quite accurately – the output of the Technical Working Group of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments of the House of Representatives. The ad hoc group prepared a Comparative Matrix of Constitutional Convention Measures and attached a set of recommendation thereto, providing a sort of consensus blueprint for the way the desperately-needed update of the 1987 Constitution should be managed.
The salient points of the Working Group’s recommendations were as follows:
1. A Constitutional Convention will be convened of members elected at the same time the national elections will be held, on May 10, 2010. Each Congressional District throughout the country will elect one member to the Convention. Convention representatives must have the same qualifications for office as members of the House of Representatives.
2. The Convention will be given one year, beginning on July 5, 2010, in which to complete its work and present proposed amendments to the Constitution.
3. Within 30 days of completing the revisions, the Convention shall report to the President, the Congress, and the Commission on Elections, as a means of publishing the proposed changes.
4. Within a period not less than 60 nor more than 90 days following the report of the amendments, a plebiscite shall be held for their final approval, with the COMELEC making such arrangements as are needed for that vote.
Mr. Pangunuran fires these parting shots to end his rant:
Under the convenient assumption that no sector of society militates against a Constitutional Convention, what would now stop the train of charter change to reach station, pray tell? Where signs indicate, the amendments or revision of the Constitution are about done and who knows the whole dish is ready for the serving. And our clueless voting public will be glad to approve of an amended or revised Constitution since they will benefit from the Pantawid Pamilya Program which comes in cash dole outs come that appointed time.
From where I stand, there are not enough activists in this country to stand in the way of the final launching of the New Constitution. They can pull the rag from under our feet, believe me.
At the end of the day, GMA knows very well her Skinner’s “Ideal Society” and let me call that not mother instinct but more as an indication of intellectual supremacy of one form or other.
Ignoring the appallingly unsophisticated English grammar and the baffling non sequitur of his final sentence, let’s examine Mr. Pangunuran’s arguments against amending the Constitution, which echoes, albeit incoherently, the opposition from many other commentators:
1. Amending the Constitution is bad.
And….? No, unfortunately, that’s all there is. Some other wags will go a bit farther and claim that “charter change” is actually a scheme to allow President Arroyo to remain in power (which Mr. Pangunuran also seems to have wanted to write, had his keyboard not apparently turned into the Tar Baby), but no ‘activist’ has yet advanced any rational arguments relevant to the actual subject, which is amending the Constitution, not what Mrs. Arroyo might or might not do.
Provisions for amending the Constitution are actually a part of that document the ‘oppositionists’ are so ardently trying to defend, which, in a real sense, puts them in a position of actually repudiating their own sacred text. Hmm. Makes about as much sense as trying to liken Arroyo’s Philippines to B.F. Skinner’s Walden Two. So for Mr. Pangunuran and all those like him, pardon me for resurrecting a tired old Bill Engvall joke, but…
Here’s your sign: