constitution.jpg Just because we are OFWs don’t mean that we will not give a care to what is happening in the political arena back home. The wickedness of the government, if left unchecked, will affect all of us — badly — just the same.

I hope this article circulating in the Net will foster a spirit of ‘concerned citizenry’ and we will be emboldened to join in the nation-building towards a more honest and transparent government by having sharing our voices and ideas, and to make known our dissent to any anti-people policy of the government.

Do not stay on the sidelines. You can get run over just the same.

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Senator Pangilinan, sir:

You are an unqestioned leader of our people. You were No. 3 during the last election. You were an independent candidate. You were not pretty like Loren Legarda. You did not convert to Islam like her. You had no organization of Trapos supporting you. In America, among the OAVs, I think you were No. 1.

But with due respects to you, Sir, I believe that we need to amend that Constitution if only to alter or modify some issues and practices that have a profound effect on our society:

(1) this inequitous representation of our people in the Senate where it is sometimes obscene to note that at one time there were 3 senators from Cebu, two from the Western Visayas in addition to some powerful people, two from Zambales, and just one representing Mindanao and So. Philippines;

(2) these allocation for you Senators and Congressmen where you spend billions of the people’s money without any accountability at all where you spend the people’s money to buy palatial homes and send your children to schools in London because they cannot pass the UPCAT and the entrance tests in other schools;

(3) these elections every three years;

(4) the perpetual protection of our natural heritage — the rain forests, the environment, our coral reefs, and others;

(4) massive corruption;

(5) the rule of law;

(6) and family dynasties where even pet cats and dogs might eventually become senators, congressmen, governors. Remember Caligula? He demanded that the Romans worship his horse as a god?

Your statement below seems so powerful:
If there is any lesson to be learned in the last 2 previous failed attempts of government to do the chacha is that the awesome powers of those in government are no match to the overwhelming force of a vigilant, enlightened and determined people….that well entrenched and powerful politicians and their vaunted machineries are inutile in the face of the wrath of an activist, enlightened and determined people.

And finally, there is an urgent need to amend that Constitution Senator Pangilinan, Sir. We are praying that the 8-9 million Filipinos in Diaspora, the brutalized and exploited domestic helpers who are being raped, killed, and insulted, be accorded representation in our Legislature and our Executive Branch. After all, it seems we remitted $15 billion to the Homeland in 2005 according to the London-based “Economist”, an amount that was equivalent to 15.2% of Philippine GDP. And it seems, 60% of our people depend on us Filipinos in Diaspora.

Cesar Torres
XXXXXX

—–Original Message—–
From: Francis Pangilinan <francisnp@…..
To: partido-pangdaigdig ang-pilipino@ yahoogroups. com
Sent: Sun, 13 Jan 2008 10:23 pm
Subject: RE: [partido-pangdaigdi gang-pilipino] Re: CHARTER CHANGE – GOVERNMENT-SPONSORE D FRAUD!!
We have seen how this government in the past 2 years tried its very best to ram charter change down our throats through the following namely 1) the People’s Initiative wherein government funded barangay assemblies were illegally called nationwide to allegedly propose amendments to the constitution and when that didnt work because the SC declared the effort as contrary to the constitution, through the 2) Constituent assembly mode wherein administration congressmen working overtime in the wee hours of the morning in December of 2006 attempted to do the chacha without the participation of the Senate by 3/4 vote of Congress or some 190 congressmen.

The charter change debates cannot and should not be viewed in isolation and cannot be considered seriously without touching on the question of whether or not we can trust this government with all the resources i.e. billions at its disposal, with the threat of losing immunity from suits come 2010 and with the propensity to take legal shortcuts, to benevolently watch from the periphery, stand idly by and allow for charter change to happen without attempting to influence the outcomes. IT WILL NOT. The wariness of many is vigilance… and rightly so.

Chacha failed the last time around because the people saw through the machinations, the railroading and the maneuvers of a regime focused on political survival and opposed it vehemently and with righteous indignation.

If there is any lesson to be learned in the lat 2 previous failed attempts of government to do the chacha is that the awesome powers of those in government are no match to the overwhelming force of a vigilant, enlightened and determined people….that well entrenched and powerful politicians and their vaunted machineries are inutile in the face of the wrath of an activist, enlightened and determined people.
K

____________ _________ _________ __

To: partido-pangdaigdig ang-pilipino@ yahoog is that roups.com; nenepimentethrough the Pl@pldtdsl.net; vfortega@launion. com.ph; rjgordon@senate. gov.We must remain vigilaph; mediabcla@aol. com; focapmedia@yahoogro ups.com; cc_ac@yahoogroups. com; raul_lambino@ yahoo.com; venecia@pldtdsl. net; mb_villar@yahoo. com; mindanao1081@ yahoogroups. com; carol@mindanews. com; ricky.carandang@ gmail.com; djaresco@mozcom. com; scoronel@pcij. org; ody@datelnet. net; lsdaily@eudoramail. com; mirror2@skyinet. net; mabuhay@impactnet. com; dailystar@lasaltech .com; bohol-rd@mozcom. com; adoronila@inquirer. com.ph; ritalindaj@gmail. com; juan_mercado@ pacific.net. ph; cpedrosaster@ gmail.com; jsarmiento@inquirer .com.ph; iltimes@iln. csi.com.ph

CC: joseabueva@yahoo. com
From: joseabueva@yahoo. com
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2008 23:57:43 -0800
Subject: Re: [partido-pangdaigdi gang-pilipino] Re: CHARTER CHANGE – GOVERNMENT-SPONSORE D FRAUD!!
Dear Kababayan: There is so much emotion and obfuscation on the subject of Charter change which is assumed to be nothing more than fraudulent, or a ruse to extend the term of Pres Arroyo beyond 2010.

Let’s be factual and sober. Most media only project this opposition line and not other proposals such as my humble Scenario based on my studies. I have provided the media a copy of it since two months ago but they have commpletely ignored it.

On November 13, I submitted to the House and the Senate our Kalayaan College Scenario for Charter Change. The House Committee on Constitutional Amendments distributed the Scenario to its members. I have also given every senator a copy of it.

The House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, chaired by Rep Victor Ortega (La Union), has distributed the KC Scenario to all its members, and he invited me to briefly explain it to the Committee. And I have urged Senator Nene Pimentel, our original champion of federalism, to support my urgent proposal for establishing autonomous regions all over the Philippines in transition to a federal republic.

Knowing the general suspicion that Pres Arroyo is behind the revival of any Charter change to enable her to remain in power beyond the end of her term in 2010, I purposely addressed my proposed constitutional reforms to Congress which has yet to use its constitutional power to initiate amendments to the Constitution. And I specificallly propose that all former presidents be disqualified from becoming president or head of government again in the amended Constitution.

The only amendment proposed by the Administration through Presidential Adviser Dureza is the idea of converting ARMM into a federal state. But in my humble view we cannot have such a federal state in a unitary political system. Besides what is good for our Moro brothers and sisters should also be good for all the rest of our people and local leaders.

I have also proposed the election of senators by autonomous regions starting in 2010 if possible, for equitable regional representation in the Senate. In my view the divisive issues of shifting to a parliamentary form of government,, and of a bicameral or unicameral legislature or parliament had better be handled by a constitutional convention whose delegates shall be elected during the national and local elections in 2010.

I strongly believe that our leaders and citizens will never agree to cancelling the 2010 elections as some media and opposition have reported without factual basis. This is a disservice to our people.

And I respectfully appeal to all local government leaders and the legislators to seize the moment for transforming our highly centralized and stultifying unitary sytem into a devolved structure of autonomous regions that will release the creativity and enegies of local leaders and citizens all over the country. Mindanao, the cradle of regional autonomy and federalism, has a historic opportunity to lead our country in regional autonomy and federalism.

We believe in a regional government that will strengthen local autonomy, because it will be composed of the provincial governors and the mayors of the provincial capital in each of the autonomous regions. No new set of regional officials will be elected.

We have an abundance of presidential aspirants and political parties gearing for the 2010 presidential elections. They should tell us soon about their political platform, including their position on political, economic, social, and constitutional issues. Our people are tired of the traditional, oligarchic politics of personality, big money, populism, patronage, and deception, without genuine reforms to solve our basic problems, fulfill our goals, and make more progress..

My fuller ideas on constitutional reform for good governance and nation-building are presented in chapter 2 of the new book published by the Institute of Souteast Asian Studies in Singapore, entitled: “Whither the Philippines in the 21st Century.” The Ateneo de Manila Press is publishing a Phillipine edition of the book. l
Here in brief is our KC Scenario.

Kalayaan College Scenario for Charter Change
By Dr. Jose V. Abueva
Director of the Institute of Federal-Parliamenta ry Democracy
and President of Kalayaan College; U.P. Professor Emeritus of
Political Science and Public Administration; & former Chairman,
2005 Consultative Commission on Charter Change

Reviving Charter change

Despite notable fiscal reforms and economic growth under President Arroyo, continuing problems of governance, executive-legislati ve relations, political corruption, inefficiency, lack of accountability, and the persistence of poverty, unemployment, social inequality and political instability underscore the need for structural and institutional reforms. Unfortunately, efforts at changing the constitution in 2005-2006 failed because of flaws in the process and distrust of their initiators, particularly the President. Various groups have a vested interest in the status quo of presidential government, the centralized unitary system, and restrictions on foreign investments.

Realizing the glaring and continuing urgency of constitutional reforms, Dr. Jose V. Abueva has submitted to Congress the Kalayaan College Scenario for Charter Change. He proposes that Congress initiate the change in two stages: (1) as a constituent assembly in 2008; then (2) by calling a constitutional convention whose delegates will be elected in the 2010 elections.

It has been shown that a people’s initiative to propose constitutional amendments is nearly impossible to pull off. There are very urgent reforms that Congress can initiate as a constituent assembly without suspicion of satisfying its selfish interests. The most controversial changes are better proposed by a constitutional convention. Thus I am proposing the two stages.

Stage One involves Congress proposing specific amendments to the Constitution in 2008 or early in 2009.

These amendments have to do with the election of senators by autonomous regions, the establishment of these autonomous regions, the creation of regional assemblies, the establishment of a Federal Republic by 2013, enabling overseas Filipino citizens to vote in national and local elections, and preventing former presidents from becoming the head of government again.

The proposed amendments shall be submitted to a plebiscite for the people’s ratification not later than May 2009. If ratified the amendments shall begin to take effect in May 2010 with the election of national and local officials.

Stage Two involves Congress calling for a constitutional convention whose delegates shall be elected during the national and local elections in May 2010.

The constitutional convention shall deal with the issues of retaining the presidential form of government with modifications or shifting to a parliamentary form of government; a bicameral vs a unicameral Congress or Parliament; proportional representation of the political parties in Congress or Parliament; the adoption of a Bill of Duties as a complement to the Bill of Rights, the disqualification of former presidents from becoming prime minister, and other issues of Charter change.
The proposed amendments or revision of the Constitution shall be submitted to a plebiscite for the people’s ratification in October 2011, and upon their ratification these shall begin to take effect in June 2012 and in the election of national and local officials in May 2013.

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