KNOW THE ISSUE!: DIFFERENT NEWS AND VIEWS ON THE CURRENT CHA-CHA MOVE
- Below are some excerpts, news articles, and email messages on the current issue on the moves by the House of Representatives to amend the Constitution. As law students, it is of great concern to us, as this involves the fundamental law of the land. Please read on and know more about the issue.
The views expressed below do not reflect the stand and position of the Ateneo Law Student Council. The SC is still studying the issue and getting the sentiments of the students.Should you wish to actively participate, volunteer, and be involved in this issue in a more meaningful manner, pls. text or get in touch with any of your SC officers, or directly contact EVP Grip Bueta (0922-8150417) who is currently forming an SC Task Force on the Cha-Cha issue. More news and updates will be sent as developments arise.
Maraming salamat!Ateneo Law Student Council 09-10
Transcript of interview with Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ with anchor Mike Enriquez over Radio dzBB06/03/2009 | 04:26 PMBERNAS: In my view, yung boto nila kagabi, di na yan kailangan because according to the Constitution, constituent assembly na sila. In the Constitution, “Congress may propose amendments." This means that the Congress is already a constituent assembly.
ENRIQUEZ: Pwede na silang magsagawa ng pagbabago?
BERNAS: Anuman ang magagawa nila, dapat ipasa sa Senado. Hindi maliwanag kagabi eh.Tatlo yung proponents, sponsors. One of them said, na di na kailangan yung Senado. Two of them said, ‘whatever we accomplish here, ipapasa natin sa Senado.’ Ano ba talaga gusto nila? Kung ‘di nila ipapasa, balewala yan.
ENRIQUEZ: Ipasa man nila o hindi sa Senado,... halos lahat ng senador iisa ang sinasabi, ‘Ayaw namin diyan..’ Kung ayaw sumali ng mga senador, paano na ngayon, constituent assembly pa rin ba sila?
BERNAS: Walang mangyayari. Di sila makakabuo ng proposal for amendment. Wala silang maibibigay sa plebisito.
ENRIQUEZ: Halimbawa ngayong umaga, may isang kongresistang magpumilit na magsulong ng proposal sa kahit anong pagbabago ng Konstitusyon. Kunyari tinalakay ‘yan dito sa Kamara, may paglabag na ba ‘yon?
BERNAS:Wala. Halimbawa, makabuo ng isang proposal. And then ‘di nila ibinigay sa Senado, and then ibinigay nila sa Comelec. ‘Oy, Comelec, maghanda kayo ng plebisito.’
ENRIQUEZ: Ibig sabihin, ihaharap niyo ito sa mga tao.
ENRIQEUZ: Ano ang dapat maging reaksiyon ng mga ordinaryong mamamayang Pilipino sa kaganapan sa Kamara?
BERNAS: (Laughs) Magalit.
ENRIQUEZ: Ano po?
BERNAS: Magalit…Sabi nga ni Cong. Joson parang gang rape.
ENRIQUEZ: Bakit dapat magalit?
BERNAS: Kasi pinaglalaruan nila ang Saligang-Batas at tsaka pinaglalaruan nila ang tao.
ENRIQUEZ: Kung hindi babaguhin ang Saligang Batas ngayon, na kahit mga katulad ninyo ay kinikilala na nangangailangan ng pagbabago sapagkat ang Saligang Batas ay nahuhuli na sa panahon, kailan dapat baguhin ang Konstitusyon, Father?
BERNAS: After the election.
ENRIQUEZ: May nakikita ba kayong di pangkaraniwang pagmamadali sa nangyari sa Kamara.
BERNAS: Kung nagmamadali sila, ‘di ko alam kung bakit. Gusto ba nilang ipasok ang term extension?
ENRIQUEZ: Mayroon pong mga kongresista na iginigiit na iba ang pagbabago ng Konstitusyon o Charter change o Cha-cha (at) iba ang sa term extension. Naniniwala ba kayo sa nagsabi na ibang usapan yung term extension? May nagsasabing: “Wag niyo pagsamahin ‘yan!."
BERNAS: You cannot extend the term without changing the Constitution.
ENRIQUEZ: Yung mga nakaupo, panay ang pangako na hindi sila mananatili sa puwesto.
BERNAS: Pero yung “Whereas clause" sa 1109, nagsasabi na they are committed not to extend terms but not binding daw. Sabi nila kagabi eh.
ENRIQUEZ: Nako naloko na. Mayroong nakalagay na “no term extension, pero not binding."
BERNAS: I think the ninth Whereas clause, they say this has nothing to do with term extension, and then they are saying last night that is not binding.
ENRIQUEZ: Sabi niyo po dapat magalit ang tao. Ano naman ang dapat gawin pag ang tao nagalit? Definitely magkakaroon ng kilos protesta.
BERNAS: ‘Di ko sasabihin sa’yo. Baka inciting to sedition na. (Laughs).... Let me tell you this, Mike. There is nothing yet that they can bring to the Supreme Court. Halimbwa, makabuo sila ng amendment and then binibigay nila sa Comelec. Sabi nila sa Comelec, ‘Maghanda kayo ng plebisito.' Sabi ng Comelec, 'Di puwede.'Then they can go to the Supreme Court.. Yung ang justiciable cause. The Supreme Court does not answer theoretical questions. There has to be an actual controversy before the Supreme Court comes in.
ENRIQUEZ: Tama bang sabihin partly lang ito, acoustic lang ito?
BERNAS: Medyo.. (Laughs)
ENRIQUEZ: Di pa full orchestra ito.
BERNAS: Na sintunado. (Laughs).
From Ms Dinky Soliman (just to evoke some thought)
greetings colleagues and comrades!
In the stillness of night the allies of the administration in Congress pierced and stabbed our backs by betraying public trust (the little that we had on them). They passed a resolution to convene a constituent assembly! They will convene it with out the Senate...at least this is one option that they have, to move the process forward.
The irony of it is Speaker Nograles admitted publicly that it was pressure from Malacanang that made them do it; he does not have any plan regarding the next steps.
This is brazen disregard of the constitution and of their duty to represent the people's interest and will.The scenarios that have been discussed in a broad meeting this morning are as follows:
- House of Representative (HOR) will set the rules and procedures and proceed to amend the constitution acting now as a Constituent Assembly.After a period of time they bring the amended constitution to COMELEC to request for a plebiscite. A case is brought to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court decides that a Senate less CONASS is valid. Plebiscite continues, it is a yes victory and the election of May 10, 2010 is an election for a parliamentary form of government. GMA runs on a district in Pampanga. She wins and becomes eventually the Prime Minister.This scenario assumes that the outraged and protest from the citizenry is weak.
- HOR convenes as a constituent assembly; a case is filed in the Supreme Court and SC declares that Congress is a bicameral body therefore the Senate is needed. Election fever catches up.A presidential election is held in May 10, 2010.This scenario assumes that there is significant citizen's lobby to stop CONASS and chahcha. The citizen's actions is a major influence in the assessment and judgement of the justices in the Supreme Court.
- HOR convenes as a constituent assembly, there is building outrage from the citizens and more street actions are undertaken.Malacana ng rides on the anger of the people and organizes violent incidents that will then be the basis for emergency rule. This scenario assumes that citizen's actions are not organized and disciplined which creates the conditions for infiltration and manipulated violence from the enemies of democracy.
- HOR convenes as a constituent assembly; a case is filed in the Supreme Court, the debate and deliberation in the Supreme Court takes a long time and it gets overtaken by election on May 10, 2010. GMA runs for Congress in Pampanga she wins, the administration candidates win too. They get the Supreme Court go ahead and convenes a Constituent Assembly, converts Congress into a parliament and GMA is elected as Prime Minister. This scenario assumes that the 2010 election is dominated by the allies of GMA and her candidates wins. This scenario assumes that transactional politics was the dominant practice and cheating, vote buying and killing will be the norm in the election of 2010. This means the citizen's action was weak and we failed to educate and mobilize active citizenship.
These were some of the scenarios that can happen given the brazeness and arrogance of the allies of Malacanang in Congress.
It is therefore important that we express outrage! Call a press conference, write a letter to the editor, blog or start a spit campaign ---in a public place put a big pail with some sand and put up a sign - spit on the traitors of the constitution if you know that your Congressman supported the CONASS put his name on it....like Speaker Nograles, Ortega, Barsaga, Del Mar -to name a few...
Let us tell each other what we have done regarding this issue.
We have agreed to have a noise barrage every 5:00 p.m. whereever we are to make noise for at least 15 minutes!!!
Padayon sa Paglihuk! Baguhin ang Pulitika tungo sa pulitika ng Pagbabago!
Statement of the Student Councils Alliance of the Philippines
Youth group, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP), denounced the administration solons brazen move to railroad Charter Change proposal in House of Representatives, yesterday, June 2, 2009.
House Bill 1109 introduced by House Speaker Prospero Nograles was approved before 12 midnight of June 02, where legislators supporting the convening of Congress as a Constituent Assembly to change the 1987 Charter defeated the minority, in the plenary vote on Charter Change (ChaCha).
“This is yet again a slap on our democracy. GMA allies have gone way too far. They should prepare for the ultimate consequence of this action, mass protests will definitely greet them starting two o’clock this afternoon in St. Peter’s Church, Commonwealth,” says SCAP Secretary-General, Paula Bianca Lapuz.
The Alliance has retained its opposition against GMA’s ChaCha since it was first proposed in 2007. The group was quoted saying that they believed that “the Government’s motivation for changing our current political system is to ensure the political survival of the beleaguered presidency of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo.”
SCAP emphasized in its previous statements that “genuine pursuit of necessary and essential reforms in our political and electoral system could never take place under the present administration.”
Hence, the Alliance reiterates that initiatives for genuine political reforms must come from groups, institutions and individuals which/who have the moral and political ascendancy to lead the process of Charter Change, otherwise this process might just be used to further curtail the civil and political rights of our people.
Furthermore, the youth group cited that our people’s participation in the process of Charter Change is of utmost importance, if only, to legitimize the whole process.
“Doing ChaCha through Con-Ass is the highest form of treason. The administration cohorts in the lower house have betrayed the people yet again. Instead of prioritizing laws like Magna Carta of Students or the Extension and Reform of CARP, GMA allies chose to pass Con-ASS bill hastily, with great prejudice to minority leaders who had still wanted to raise arguments against the faults of the bill,” adds Lapuz.
Having condemned ConASS, SCAP maintained its stance that Charter Change could best serve the interest of the people if done through a Constitutional Convention, where delegates will be voted by the people in order to convene an independent body which will tackle revisions and/or amendments in the charter.
CARPER at Magna Carta of Students HINDI CHACHA
“Kick Con-ASS! That’s what we are saying. No to Charter Change under the GMA administration! Let’s not bring this country to an absolute political fiasco,” quips Lapuz.
“Student groups forming the Coalition for Students’ Rights and Welfare (STRAW) have been lobbying incessantly in the House of Representatives (HoR) during the past weeks in order to get the Magna Carta of Students passed at the committee level. It is very frustrating to see our legislators passing a bill which is highly detrimental to our democracy. We cannot tolerate this blatant disregard of the real important bills, which will in fact, help our people, especially our farmers and students greatly,” says coalition spokesperson Jamie Pring.
“We are deeply saddened by the developments in the lower house; we wish that Congress would tackle Magna Carta of Students and the Extension and Reform of CARP instead of insisting to convene a Constituent Assembly. This is a very crucial moment for genuine political reforms to take place and we are appalled to witness the slow death of our reform agenda in HoR especially if our legislators themselves are putting them off, case in point, the ChaCha Express,” adds Pring.
SCAP, being a co-convenor of the coalition, reminds solons that young people will not hesitate to go out in the streets again to show their indignation of this government’s outright mockery of our country’s democratic institutions and processes.
SCAP and the Coalition for STRAW are praying that key reform bills will be passed before the recess of Congress. Likewise, they are registering their protest against ChaCha.
“EDSA dos is likely to happen again. Young people are not ignorant; we saw and felt the youth power in 2001. This government never learns, as if GMA was not installed through the EDSA II uprising. We will ensure that our voices will be heard.. HoR should legislate Magna Carta of Students NOW and as well as CARPER,” Lapuz concludes.
Magna Carta of Students has been pending in Congress for more than a decade already. No substantial discussion was brought out in the past to get it moving. The coalition hopes that through more rigorous lobbying, congress will finally legislate this into law.
CARPER was just passed in the Senate while the House was busy tackling Con-ASS. HoR closed without passing the bill in the plenary.
"The highest courage is to dare to be yourself in the face of adversity.
Choosing right over wrong, ethics over convenience, and truth over popularity.
These are the choices that measure our life.
Travel the path of integrity, for THERE IS NEVER A WRONG TIME TO DO THE RIGHT THING."
- from "The Courage of Integrity", unknown author