Len Olea’s Blog

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Beyond 2010?

Posted by lenolea on November 25, 2008

It is apparent that the Arroyo ruling clique is determined to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution.After failed attempts in the past, their push for Charter Change is gaining momentum once again.

Pampanga Representative Juan Miguel ‘Mikey’ Arroyo, the eldest son of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, without an iota of delicadeza, started getting the support of House members for the convening of a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) to change the Constitution.

Malacañang was quick to distance itself from Cong. Mikey Arroyo’s moves, saying that Mrs. Arroyo’s son is like any ordinary guy. Are they insulting the intelligence of the public?

While Cong. Arroyo confirmed that there was a resolution for Con-Ass, it is to ‘revisit’ the provisions of the Constitution, and not to extend his mother’s term.

In an interview over dzRB AM radio, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Anthony Golez said, “The Palace will dismiss, exclude and reject amendments that deal with term extension or other moves or schemes to perpetuate (the interest of) or politically benefit incumbent elective officials to include the President.”

Indeed, Golez is fit for his job.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) said, “House Resolution 550 directly proposes the extension of term of President Arroyo and all other elective officials and the postponement of the 2010 elections to June 30, 2011. Another resolution proposes the elimination of the current term limits and another resolution for the expansion of the term of congressmen to four years instead of three years…”

Once the Con-Ass is convened, nothing can stop it from amending, even overhauling, the Charter.

Presidential Political Adviser Gabriel Claudio said in a statement that the Palace is in favor of transparency in Charter change moves and initiatives.

Well, the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments withdrew its previous decision to hold four public consultations in Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao on the need for Charter change.

The failed attempts to railroad Charter change indicate that the Arroyo ruling clique has utilized schemes that can hardly be called transparent and honest. The Oct. 25, 2006 Supreme Court ruling, for example, branded the so-called people’s initiative as ‘gigantic fraud’ on the Filipino people. Then, Arroyo’s cohorts in the Lower House, led by then House Speaker Jose de Venecia, pushed for a Senate-less Con-Ass. Raging protests frustrated the plan.

Malacañang seems to be ready now. With Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, a known Arroyo ally and advocate of Charter change and the incoming Arroyo appointees to the Supreme Court, the Arroyo ruling clique must really be serious in ramming Charter change down everybody’s throats.

Today, we face a very serious threat –the threat of Arroyo perpetuating herself in Malacañang. With it comes continuous economic misery and shameless corruption. With her in power, the country remains subservient to foreign interests at the expense of the people’s welfare.

Arroyo’s long list of crimes against the Filipino people was again recited in this year’s impeachment proceedings in Congress, she would have every reason to immune herself from prosecution. Plunder and grave human rights violations are no ordinary sins.

Can’t this country wake up to end this nightmare?

Perhaps soon this ruling clique’s madness will get the finale it rightfully deserves.

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