Let us protect our Constitution and our democracy

18

When I got in to this [the presidency], I remember [it was for]one term of six years. Now, having said that, I must of course listen to my bosses.
 — President Benigno Aquino 3rd in TV5 interview

Clearly, President Benigno Aquino 3rd isn’t listening to his avowed bosses. Despite the plunge in his survey ratings to their lowest ever, even before the public had fully digested the widely supported Supreme Court ruling against his illegal Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), he still thinks Filipinos want him to rule beyond 2016.

In his Wednesday interview with TV5 legal analyst and Ateneo law professor Mel Santa Maria, Aquino also argued that the Judicial branch of government must be stopped from reviewing and restraining the Executive and the Legislative, because lately the former was doing so “more often.” Even though hardly any of his “bosses” share that view (just ask around your workplace, parish or community).

Nonetheless, let there be no doubt that the President and his administration have the wherewithal to undertake the constitutional revisions he wants.


Hostaged by anomalous pork barrel papers in the hands of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and keen to maintain the ruling coalition’s dominance, Congress would rubber-stamp Aquino’s amendments after some public show debates.

The Commission on Elections, chaired by former Aquino election lawyer Sixto Brillantes, can use the dubious Precinct Count Optical System (PCOS) or other electronic canvassing machines to churn out the needed majority ratification of the charter change provisions.

And pro-Aquino media and civil society can make it appear that the people welcome the revisions. As for the international community, don’t expect major nations like the United States to object to the collusion of Palace, Congress and Comelec for Cha-cha. Especially if allowing foreign forces, bases and nukes are among the changes.

Marcos Con-con and Aquino Cha-cha
Similarities between this Cha-cha scenario and Marcos-era constitutional crafting is anything but merely coincidental. Both men aimed to expand their powers: dictator Ferdinand Marcos through a presidential-parliamentary system, Aquino by clipping the power of judicial review.

Along with martial law, the 1973 charter, drafted by a democratically elected constitutional convention, enabled Marcos to serve beyond the maximum of two consecutive four-year terms. Aquino’s planned amendment could extend his term or lift the single-term restriction on the President.

Marcos allegedly bribed Con-con delegates, and got a handpicked assembly of barangay leaders to ratify his constitution under military rule. Aquino’s pork-barreled Congress, as constituent assembly, would propose amendments, which vote-counting machines could duly approve.

Cha-cha could also modify or repeal provisions that now pose legal problems for the Bangsamoro Agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement escalating US military deployment in the country and providing American forces access to Philippine bases.

To win support from key sectors like business, their desired amendments could be added to the Cha-cha list, including the easing or lifting of restrictions on foreign ownership of land and enterprises in resource extraction, public utilities, and media.

The bottom line, of course, is for Aquino and his coalition to extend and expand their rule, purportedly to sustain the claimed reforms of the administration.

Don’t let lawbreakers recast the law
Stopping the Aquino Cha-cha train is about as hard as blocking a real locomotive, but block Cha-cha the nation must.

First, it would be imprudent, if not dangerous, to give more powers and more years to the President who trebled PDAF, created DAP, and used both to control Congress and decapitate the Supreme Court. Unless Filipinos want to see more liberties taken in public spending, foreign alliances, the separation of powers, and aspiring “sub-states,” we must oppose Cha-cha.

Second, it is highly unlikely that the common good would be served by amendments crafted by lawmakers who have obscenely gorged on pork barrel, and are out to punish the very Judiciary which defended not only the Constitution, but also Congress’s exclusive power of the purse. Having seen what senators and congressmen have done with public money, we don’t want them anywhere near the fundamental law of the land.

Third, the past four years have shown how crucial and indispensable an independent Judiciary is in checking abuse and balancing the people’s interests against the powers that be.

With less power, the Supreme Court might not have been able to scrap the institutionalized theft that is pork barrel, and the DAP’s rape of democratic budgeting through Congress. And if Aquino got away with creating the Philippine Truth Commission exclusively to investigate the past administration, he could have done the same to target anyone he doesn’t like, while always sparing his friends and allies.

What Aquino reforms?
As for continuing his supposed reforms, there is ample verified material in print, online and in everyday life to show that Aquino’s rule has failed in delivering good governance.
As many columnists and ordinary Filipinos have repeatedly observed, Aquino protects his Kaklase, Kakampi, Kabarilan clique, while crucifying his perceived opponents.

Thus, the biggest spate of smuggling ever — the loss of more than 2,000 containers in 2011 — the largest state casino loss of P400 million in May of that year, and the billion-peso firearms bidding, perhaps the worst overpricing scandal in the Philippine National Police, are all spared from serious investigation.

But opponents are quickly thrown in the slammer. Hence, in their plenary statement last month, Catholic bishops decried selective prosecution of pork barrel abuses.

That PDAF scam leapt under Aquino to more than P20 billion a year. Plus: he augmented the corrupt scheme with more than P150 billion in DAP monies, which the Supreme Court unequivocally said “were allocated to PAPs [programs and projects]not covered by any appropriations in the pertinent GAAs” or national budgets.

Major programs hyped to high heavens have turned out to be duds. Public-private partnerships are stuck in first gear even after four years. Aquino’s rice self-sufficiency claims have stopped as prices and imports soared this year when grain production should have exceeded consumption.

Claims of declining crime have proved false: corrected data show that incidents nearly doubled since 2010. Also debunked are assertions of disaster response effectiveness. Aquino’s claim of pre-positioned vessels, aircraft and relief goods proved worthless when Yolanda hit.

Even basic things like vehicle license plates, port operations, and commuter trains, which have been well taken care of in past administrations, are now breaking down.

It would be crazy to change the Constitution and suffer more of Aquino.

Share.
.
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

18 Comments

  1. ABNOY is the product of people who voted based on their emotion. From the very start it was already revealed that he is INSANE and yet he was voted by fans who got carried away by the Aquinos crying antics. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

    • You are so correct. I ribboned yellow almost every car i have asked permission to do so based on pres CORY, i knew pnoy was not qualified because of his 1st to the 4th SONA , and the way he handled disasters big and small. He is stubborn, yet easily swayed by his cordon sanitaire to act like a brat much as kris is doing. But his latest pronouncements to meddle with the constitution and other balances of government proved his very very near marcos type of goverment. A government his parents sacrificed their lives to make every filipino claim their rights. Instead on focusing of the problems at hand he is pushing CONASS and clipping powers of the SC!!!! Its in the constitution and even if they and the congressman succeedd it will be undone in the future and he would have dragged down the legacy of his beloved parents.

  2. Another term for Mr. Aquino? No way. I am not one of his claimed bosses. I am simply a Filipino hoping for a better tomorrow, but definitely not under this rudderless dude.

    He has no solid accomplishments of national import. Only abusive acts, one after the other.

    I admit though that this guy is good at syntax (editing reports), good in computation using a whiteboard and whiteboard pen, and good in saying, “I don’t like your report”.

    A president? Probably, but a president that never was (only in title).

  3. Sr. Gloria Felix, I have always admired your comments. In case the hypocrite Pnoy pushes through with his plan to tinker with the Constitution so that he could escape criminal prosecution, I hope you could find a way to convince Arch. Tagle to lead the way and we will follow as we have followed Cardinal Sin in 1986.

  4. The fact that BSA wants a revised Constitution that limits the power of the Judiciary so that it cannot “interfere” with the whims of the Executive especially one like BSA is giving the chills. In short BSA wants unlimited and unrestricted use of his powers.

  5. We need a revolution! Again! Jose Rizal must be turning in his grave…good heavens, enough already…the idiot has to go…period!

    • Yes!,, reminding the police and the soldiers it is not pnoy who is your true leaders. You are positioned by the people to protect first and foremost notone man who makes you think he is employing you… you are there to protect the CONSTITUTION more than any personality.

  6. Aquino will not be able to change term limits, even if all of Team Pork pushes hard. This is beyond what the people will allow. Changing term limits is all about self interest.

  7. Jose A. Oliveros on

    Unless PeNoy and his lackeys in both Houses of Congress vest JUDICIAL POWER in another branch, agency or instrumentality of the government through con-ass or other means, excising the “abuse of discretion” clause from Art. VIII, Sec. 1, second paragraph of the 1987 Constitution will not deprive the Supreme Court to review and rule upon in appropriate cases whether a particular branch of government has committed grave abuse of discretion amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction. This is the essence of JUDICIAL POWER.

    As posited by Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino in an article published in the December 1999 issue of the defunct “Lawyers Review”, “the abuse of discretion clause added no new powers to the Court than it already possessed even under past charters, and that it will take more than an amendment of Article VIII, Section 1 to deprive the Court of the power to strike down acts of other branches of government tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.” He concluded his discourse as follows:

    “The power of the Courts to determine whether or not any department, branch, office or organ of government has acted with grave abuse of discretion to as to oust it of jurisdiction was announced and acknowledged, not conferred and vested y the Constitution of 1987. It is a power that has its roots in the democratic tradition. Its foundations rest on the Rule of Law. It is the capstone of a national option for a way of life. xxx.”

    Fr. Aquino wrote that article against the background of proposals to delete the “abuse of discretion clause” from the 1987 Charter through a cha-cha, during the term of former President Ramos, and through a “Concord” during the term of former President Erap because of the Supreme Court’s “intrusion” into economic concerns – concerns that the Executive and the Legislative branches claim are reserved to themselves to address.

  8. Claro Apolinar on

    May God enlighten our countrymen and fight these efforts of the Yellow Army and Yellow Fanatics to impose another six years of Aquino rule which they will turn into a presidency for lilfe. The promoters of this antiDemocracy and antiConstitution move are immoral, dishonest, oligarchical Filipinos who want to perpetuate our most Palpak and Baluktot na Daan president and his people another term for thjeir elitist and unpatriotic interests. Maawa naman kayo sa Inang Bayan.

  9. If the PCOS machines are seriously unreliable to produce honest election results, changing them should be the priority of the people who want their real choices to sit in government offices they ran for.

  10. THE COUNTRY, AS WE SPEAK, BY HOOK OR BY CROOK – IS ABOUT TO BE FED TO THE DOGS.

    This Admin, with nothing to show for other than a hollow boast of 12,000 kilometers of well paved roads built from the day they started office to the very last SONA – injected with steroids of lies and props of mumbo jambo hallow crafted stats.

    We HAD Enough. We don’t need the yellow crap agenda ram though our throats like a panacea for the problems this regime has brought to the people.
    IT IS LOUD AND CLEAR, THE PEOPLE DO NOT WANT ANOTHER 6 YEAR OF NOYNOYING.

  11. Mr. Saludo, I feel greatly overwhelmed by your appeal to protect our Constitution. What I am about to tell would make you think that I am already in the brink of losing my sanity. No, I am not, thank God! But how I wish BSAquino III were a PMayer so he could, like the late Gen. Angie Reyes, ended dear life via “omerta” at the grave of his mother! I attended his wake with Mr. JoeCon, who took me along to say few words to the grieving family. PROTECT was sacred to Gen. Angie Reyes so he chose to die rather than betray a secret. PROTECT we must our Constitution from anyone who would want to alter its nature and sacredness. So help us, God.

    • I totally agree with you Sr. Felix. What about Cardinal Tagle? Time is up for us to make our moves against this tyrant, authoritarian, despot, hypocrite, lameduck, wrongly titled PRESIDENT.