Sunday, September 17, 2006 [ 4:56 PM ]


The idea of having a new form of government seems to be a good idea in a country perceived to be going in the direction opposite of progress. The idea is fine, if something does not work try another. If we are performing poorly in the presidential form of government, try parliamentary. It looks like a simple solution but even the best medicine will not work if not taken in proper dosage and in the right time.

The proponents of the change in the constitution believe that they are following the right prescription based on its effect on other countries. It could be right but most probably it is not. What is good for someone might not be as effective to another. What is good for my flu may not work on your flu. In taking medicine, there are factors to consider.

The medicine this present administration wants to be able to end the country’s corruption sickness and political instability is charter-change. I am not against it; it’s a good medicine that worked for other countries. But as I said though it worked for them, it may not work for us. Why? Because the people pushing for it knew only the medicine but they do not know how and when to take it. They want charter change in a time when there is still a doubt in the legitimacy of the president. So instead of the people believing that it is for the country’s good, they are convinced that it is only a scapegoat for the president whose mandate is still in question.

I heard congressman Jaraula said in an ANC interview that the problem in our government is the system and not the people running it. Honestly, I thought it was a joke. It’s not the people running it? Let a reckless driver drive the newest model of Ferrari car and look what will happen. It’s lucky if it only gets a single scratch in an day. Then let a disciplined and talented driver drive an old model car and he will be able to use it in its full potential. What I mean is our government’s system is not as bad as others think it is. Yes, there might be other forms that are much better than this but if we only get the right people in the right places then this system could work on its best until both the citizens and the politicians in this country be mature enough and responsible enough to handle greater power provided by a greater system.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006 [ 5:50 PM ]


The lower house is serious with their quest to change the form of government from presidential to parliamentary. Just this day they passed a resolution aiming to make the congress a constituent assembly, and they are doing that without soliciting the help of the senate. Obviously the House of Representatives knew that the senate wont be as cooperative as they wanted them to be or as the president wanted the senate to be.

There have been many arguments and debates on the issue of forming a constituent assembly, and one of them is whether the lower and the upper chamber of congress should be voting as one or voting separately. Clearly with all the points laid down the latter is more logical for the simple reason that congress is voting separately on the most irrelevant law, how much more if the concern is the entire constitution?

The move of the house wanting to act on their own is the very same thing that we could expect if the parliamentary government they wanted takes place. No senate, no checks and balances and the only thing that will happen are the desires of the house. Just imagine the scenario, if the house is doing that kind of attitude in the present form of government how much more if they will be given the full control of the parliament?

Others may argue that people may change members of the parliament if they are not satisfied with what their representatives are doing but is that really possible? Maybe in the imperial manila that is possible but I doubt if it is in other parts of the country where patronage politics and political warfare is very much evident. Granting that the members of the parliament in the greater manila are changed constantly, still that cannot be assured in distant provinces. In the provinces, most of the public facilities such as hospitals and schools belong to the incumbent politician. And unless the people support that politician they can never use those facilities without any unwanted hindrances. It is a given fact in the land that in the rural areas politicians is giving the needs of the people but only some of them is giving it without expecting any in return, and that return will only be acknowledged if it is given in a form of a vote. Do the people there have a choice? Of course they don’t unless they are willing to sacrifice the lives of their children. Even if how much wicked their politician is, they wont dare challenge him if they don’t want to suffer any unwanted consequences. So in the end the parliament will be the having the same people again and again until the time we’ll never know when.

If there are people to blame here it is not the people, they have no choice. If there are people to blame here it is non other than the proponents of Charter-Change in a very untimely period. The only responsible for this is the politicians who don’t want to give up power come what may and politicians who are willing to sacrifice the people for more power no matter what. A parliamentary government is a thing wanted badly by people who wanted to be the top official of the land who cannot win by a popular vote.