HR: Haggard Reflections on HR 1109

In a final effort to get the Cha-cha ball rolling, administration solons have brought fourth House Resolution 1109, which will spawn a Constituent Assembly out of the members of the Congress that will modify the 1987 Constitution.

HR 1109 calls upon the members of Congress to convene for the purpose of considering proposals to amend or revise the Constitution, upon a three-fourths vote of all its members.

The act to modify the Constitution has always been associated with skullduggery on the part of the proponents, usually with the attempt to extend a ruler’s term by stretching the provisions of the constitution pertaining to it. Not surprisingly, the opposition claims that the motive behind the Con-Ass is the extension of GMA’s term as president. However, these moves imply more than these inelegant goals. It is extremely important that Filipinos be aware of the chain of events, as the proceedings may ultimately lead to such, so as not to be caught off-guard.

If ever Constituent Assembly pushes through during the next congressional session, the populace must be very critical of the proposed changes to the Charter. Extending GMA’s term by having her as head of a transitional government, and/or as prime minister in a parliamentary setting (afterwards) is probable, considering her clout within the House. Bear in mind that one turning against GMA instead and having another appointed as head of state instead of her is also a possibility, so stay tuned for surprises.

Likewise Charter change poses a threat to the incoming presidential elections, not in the sense that the former will not allow us to have the latter, or that the former will invalidate the results of the latter. A shift in a system of government requires a transitional government, wherein we may not have the president-elect as the head of government immediately but after the expiration of the transitional government, by which the time the transitionary head of government has already expolited for the furtherance of his (or her) agendas.

Finally, the people must be on their guard on their reaction to Charter change; any threat to the stability of a government can be dealt with swiftly, especially with the Human Security Act around. More so, a declaration of a state of emergency can conveniently be justified in events like public clamor and civil disobedience, and with that extension of tenure would be more feasible by exploiting the unchecked power granted by the declaration.

With all the public suspicion and the apparent unconstitutionality of the resolution, it is doubtful that Cha-cha will be danced before the end of the Arroyo administration.

There are two sayings that we should bear in mind in the midst of the political showdown; First: When there’s a will, there’s a way. As long as the proponents work for Cha-cha, they may get it. However: It takes two to tango. Like all dances, Cha-cha needs a dance partner. Don’t be an idiot. ▪