No holds barred. All means possible. No costs spared. This is how desperate the present administration is in having a Charter Change. The easier, the sooner, the faster the better. The Constitution provides three ways of having it changed: People’s Initiative, Constituent Assembly, Constitutional Convention.
Nothing less than the Administration itself attempted to assume the People’s Initiative. It orchestrated its undertaking, shouldered its costs, and advertised its merits. People spoke against it. The COMELEC rejected it. The Supreme Court discarded it.
But the Administration would not simply give up. It claims that Charter Change is its demonstration of genuine concern for the people. Its expression of noble love for the country and its sublime resolve to have an honest and good governance. Hence, the so-called “Charter Change Express” goes on.
Now, the Administration is batting for a Constituent Assembly. Its allies are all dutifully lined up to support the move. Never mind if the Senate would have nothing to do with it. It is all right if only the Administration’s Congressmen are behind it. So what if this way of amending the Constitution is contrary to the spirit and context of the Constitution itself.
Thus it is that the Administration and its allies are in effect even inventing a fourth way of amending the fundamental law of the land: viz., one half of the legislative branch thus already junking its other half which is the Senate. As of now, it is not yet known if the Administration and its bright boys might later on come up with a novel fifth and other ways of amending the fundamental law of the land.
It is interesting if not strange that the national leadership with its avid followers want to believe that the Lower House by itself is competent to propose a Charter Change—making precisely the upper house irrelevant in such a big venture. The truth is that it takes no less than the whole legislative branch of Government even but to change the name of some streets in the country.
The conclusion for all such attempts and adventures for Charter Change on the part of the Administration is obvious by force of elementary reason, i.e., the greed for the indefinite extension of the tenure of office of key people in government. The concern for people, the love of country, the desire of honest and good governance are but thin and poor icing in the huge cake of power, influence and wealth.
6 November 2006