This endless resurrection of charter change as the panacea to what ills the Philippines has become a nameless menace.
It is nameless because we do not know how to call this strategy of the administration people and their allies of defining the problem of the Philippines as caused by the 1987 Constitution that was supposed to have enshrined the best of our ideals after that collective act of redeeming ourselves from the hell that we had to go through during the Marcos misrule.
It is a menace because here we go again with this social malady of purging that evil that is in the heart and soul of our pretending leaders.
The rite and ritual that go with this charter change will serve as some kind of a decoration to the already useless pageantry of elections.
For soon we will elect the assemblymen—and women—in that unicameral body that would serve as the preserver of our democratic ideals.
These assembly persons—how will we call them to make our term politically correct?—will understand what we want as a people because by the time the elections will be called, they shall have read all the provisions of the New Constitution.
And they then shall have taken to heart everything that is in there.
Every word. Verbatim.
And then the New Constitution of 2007 will challenge them to forget their past as members of the House of Representative and the Senate because they are to be one, their action concerted, and their minds gelling because guided by the vision of that New Fundamental Law of the Land to effect social justice, at least, on paper.
This is where the big trouble begins.
We dare say: unless all the pretending leaders and pretending politicians will go away from the elections, shun their participation in the constitution of the assembly that will be called for, and take on obligatory and voluntary banishment in one of the unpopulated islands of the Philippines and there ruminate about the terrorizing and tormenting silence of the poor and the oppressed, this whole idea of charter change is going to be simply a waste of tax money.
It will simply be another one of those foolish social experiments of changing Constitutions without changing those who author the nameless menace that we have around.
There is a single sine qua non to what we can do: Write another charter, for heaven’s sake and if that is what addresses some of the issues that relate to some face-saving needs of some powers-that-be but for the sake of the people long deprived of what is due them, ban all the present politicians from participating in the electoral exercise.
Put in one of the provisions that those who are presently holding power cannot aspire to hold power for one generation.
If we need to purge our political life and we do it by changing the Constitution, then let us also purged those who continue to make our life miserable.
Fair is fair.
Pub, INQ, V1N20, Nov 2005