AS an easy reference to aid in the discussions on the constitutional amendments being proposed by the Consultative Commission on charter change (Con-Com), we have prepared a matrix comparing the 1987 Constitution and the Con-Com’s proposal to show what provisions have been modified, replaced, removed and added.

Since the focal point of proposed changes is the transition from the present presidential-unitary system to a parliamentary-federal form of government, most of the revisions that the 1987 Constitution is being made to undergo are understandably in the area of the structure of government introduced by articles under new, as well as old, headings — Parliament, The Prime Minister and the Cabinet, The President, The Judiciary, and The Constitutional Commissions.

But the 1987 Constitution has also been considerably overhauled in other parts. For starters, the proposed version of the preamble now reads:

We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to establish a Government that shall embody our ideals, promote the general welfare, conserve and develop the patrimony of our nation, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of democracy under a regime of justice, peace, liberty, and equality, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.

Conspicuously missing are the phrases “to build a just and humane society and”; “and aspirations”; “independence”; under the rule of law”; “truth, freedom, love.” The phrase “promote the common good” has been replaced with “promote the general welfare” even as a new term has been added — “liberty.”

Noticeably absent as well are the following progressive provisions in Article II (Declaration of Principles and State Policies) laid down by the 1987 charter framers:

  • Section 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.
  • Section 8. The Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.
  • Section 9. The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living,and an improved quality of life for all.
  • Section 13. The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.
  • Section 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.
  • Section 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
  • Section 17. The State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.
  • Section 19. The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos.
  • Section 20. The State recognizes the indispensable role of the private sector, encourages private enterprise, and provides incentives to needed investments.
  • Section 21. The State shall promote comprehensive rural development and agrarian reform.
  • Section 23. The State shall encourage non-governmental, community-based, or sectoral organizations that promote the welfare of the nation.
  • Section 24. The State recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-building.
  • Section 25. The State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments.
  • Section 26. The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.
  • Section 27. The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.

Section 1, which declares that the Philippines is a democratic and republican State, and that sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them, has also dropped the term “democratic.”

Section 3, which states that civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military has dropped this succeeding sentence — “The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory.”

Though the Bill of Rights has generally escaped drastic modifications, the contentious changes are in Section 4 where “freedom of speech” has been qualified as the “responsible exercise of the freedom of speech,” and Section 8 on the right to form unions, which has removed the phrase “including those employed in the public and private sectors.”

The proposed charter also introduces a new article on Bill of Duties (Article V) meant to inculcate in citizens the responsible use of their rights.

Download the matrix to view the Con-Com’s proposed amendments.

54 Responses to Easy guide to Con-Com’s proposed amendments to 1987 Constitution

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lokalokang matino

January 15th, 2006 at 2:47 pm

In sum the proposal is defective. Don’t worry, Malacanang knew about those defects, because they drafted the proposal. Remember, cha-cha is divertionary tactic, to cover up the HELLO GARCI issue. The defects,I suspect were intentionaly injected so that responsible individuals will debate and lengthily discussed them, leaving behind the HELLO GARCI issue as what is happening now. The DIRTY TRICK DEPARTMENT in the Palace- of- the- CHEAT must be laughing behind those thick, heavy curtains of LIES and DECEIT.

To fool us again, halfway, gloria, THE CHEAT EXECUTIVE will order A REVIEW of the proposals, claiming she saw so many defects. This will again buy her some precious time to enable her again to find another trick, just to stay in power. This is the type of governance gloria invented, TRICK, AFTER TRICK, AFTER TRICK, AFTER TRICK of course these are DIRTY TRICKS!!!!!!!!

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Chabeli

January 15th, 2006 at 4:29 pm

lokalokang matino,
GREAT comments! If I may add to your comments that “The DIRTY TRICK DEPARTMENT in the Palace- of- the- CHEAT must be laughing behind those thick, heavy curtains of LIES and DECEIT.” That DEPARTMENT OF SMUT is the likes of BUBUY MACAPAGAL (who apparently was the one who rodered the taping of “HELLO GARCI”), TOMMY ALCANTARA, PANCHO VILLARAZA, INDIKA ABOITIZ and RICKY RAZON (who apprently was the one who helped GARCI reach Brazil through his ICTSI connections).

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naykika

January 15th, 2006 at 9:40 pm

The cha-cha and the con-com as proposed won’t make much difference, since the constitutions (1987) have everything in its provisions needed, the only mistake is nobody seem to be under the belief that it is to be adhered to. But it looks like the change is enivetible. My only suggestion this time is: Since we can all agree that the disease that afflicted our system of governance is Corruption, Corruption; corruption to amaze enormous wealth, corruption to get elected why don’t we recognize such and include it in our Charter. It may look like this:

We, the people recognized that Corruption is now a disease that become a part of our daily life, we will now deal with this problem before we can proceed with anything else.

Then, we can repeal this provision if the disease is cured, bet you our lawmakers will set a record of performance. To do so, first they need a courage ( a lot of it) to pass the REVERSE ONUS LAWS when it come to crime of CORRUPTIONS. That way the elected official is impeached until she/he proove himself innocent. Far fetched? It is, but short of it-cha-cha con-com, no-el or any more nice combinations of terms won’t just click. my looney worth

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Chabeli

January 15th, 2006 at 10:22 pm

Teka, taka, HOW CAN GLUE-RIA TINKER WITH THE CONSTITUTION, WHEN HER LEGITIMACY IS STILL IN QUESTION!!!!????!!!!??

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eyesWideopen2

January 15th, 2006 at 10:27 pm

hahhaha. that makes GLUERIA funny. :)

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greatnight66

January 15th, 2006 at 11:45 pm

I am most critical with section 9

so now its up to the people to fend for themselves, the gov’t is more into exporting mass cheap labor instead of developing our country’s economy.

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lokalokang matino

January 16th, 2006 at 12:00 am

Plastered in the morning papers today is the photo-op of the country’s
dirtiest TRAPOs , BASAHANs sa simpleng leguahe. Ito ay grupo ng LAKAS, meaning – L-akas A-pog K-ami, A-ng S-aya-saya. When I look closer at the photo,napansin ko naka-THUMBS UP ang mga GANID , Sabi ko sa sarili, ” Patay na naman si Juan Dela Cruz!!!!!!”

Chabeli – thank you for your kind remark on my comment!!!

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lokalokang matino

January 16th, 2006 at 12:00 am

Plastered in the morning papers today is the photo-op of the country’s
dirtiest TRAPOs , BASAHANs sa simpleng lenguahe. Ito ay grupo ng LAKAS, meaning – L-akas A-pog K-ami, A-ng S-aya-saya. When I look closer at the photo,napansin ko naka-THUMBS UP ang mga GANID , Sabi ko sa sarili, ” Patay na naman si Juan Dela Cruz!!!!!!”

Chabeli – thank you for your kind remark on my comment!!!

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Chabeli

January 16th, 2006 at 1:15 am

You’re welcome, Lokalokang Matino. It would be interesting to read the article of Mr. Randy David in his Sunday column
http://news.inq7.net/opinion/index.php?index=2&story_id=62984&col=60

It’s an eye opener.

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arkangel1a

January 16th, 2006 at 7:37 am

i like the fact that this document has a “bill of duties” i have always believed that was what was wrong with the 1987 constitution. that said, at least their is some hope that its being done right.

as for the parliament… i think people need to discuss this more. i’ll try to read the rest of it.

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jester-in-exile

January 16th, 2006 at 11:24 am

the removal of the use of the word “democratic” when referring to the state, as well as the phrase “the responsible exercise of free speech” is disturbing.

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arkangel1a

January 16th, 2006 at 1:48 pm

jester-in-exile, i noticed the word “democratic” was removed too… and the phrase “responsible exercise of free speech” edit as well. i’m going to sound like one of those guys from revenge of the sith… who would agree with the bad old emperor who prefers order to the “chaos” of democracy.

i grew up in the age of cory, fvr, estrada, arroyo. i don’t know how it was like during martial law and all that. i hear the older generation tell stories and that was all. as a young man i was lucky enough that my parents took me to vacation and one of the first places my parents took me to was singapore. i love the clean streets. i love the everything working right. its a nice place to visit, but i wouldn’t want to live there. i love manila too much.

now i used to go to school in a university along taft avenue. and you couldn’t help notice that after the government painted the lrt, some guy “exercising his right to free speech” would vandalize it again. we are all so pissed that government officials steal money from our hard earned taxes. yet isn’t it a waste to vandalize our property? and how much did it cost again to keep painting the lrt year round?

if it means, cleaner streets, fewer crime, if it means that every child gets to eat 3 times a day, to play, to study, to push themselves to be better than who they are now… i’m all for saying the phrase “the responsible exercise of free speech” because seriously, we haven’t been exercising it all that well.

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jester-in-exile

January 16th, 2006 at 2:25 pm

arkangel1a,

same here, i was too young to bear the brunt of martial law, but still and all, its effects reverberate to this day.

at any rate, i disagree that vandalism can be equated to free speech. we do have laws against destruction of property.

on other issues in this proposal, what i’ve read so far that’s also disturbing are:

1. deletion of the ban of nukes on our soil (should have made this ban also encompass chemical and biological weapons) – perhaps a precursor to the reestablishment of new foreign bases?
2. the replacement of “protect the rights of workers” with “protect and promote the welfare of workers” – less rights for workers?
3. the deletion of section 19 (Filipino-controlled economy); in fact, there are too many deletions in the Declaration of Principles article (provision against political dynasties, provision agains corruption, et al)
4. the modification of the provision to the right to assembly in the Bill of Rights
5. the Bill of Duties seems to me discriminatory against conscientious objectors
6. The college degree qualification for an MP is a discriminatory requirement
7. the choice and appointment of an Ombudsman not from a short list

sorry, man, too much data to crunch, not enough time. i’m still reading the revisions through. there are good points, i think, but i’m rather wary of the changes.

i’m really not for a parliamentary system. federalism, maybe, but it’s a system that needs a long time to build; after all, each of our provinces are still at very unequal stages of development.

good to know your thoughts, man. though we can disagree, at least we’re not being apathetic.

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naykika

January 16th, 2006 at 2:36 pm

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
arkangel1a : above is section I or our charter of Rights. You will notice that in every democratic society, every freedom guaranteed by the states is always subject to reasonble limitations. so in your case the vandalism will fall under such limitation and should be dealt as is.
All our freedoms and rights here is covered by section I and the reasonable limits is decided by the proper courts in its decision as cases brought before them.
as an old man who has been around the early years of Marcos era and before, I totaly agree with you that ever since we neither had not exercising our freedoms rightfully or we were over exercising them. I hope this time each and everyone will do it right…

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arkangel1a

January 16th, 2006 at 4:52 pm

well exactly naykika. that was my point!

limits are indeed placed on freedom. do you remember what is almost always written on those vandalisms? ikbasak si or no to us bases and such and such or so other similar rant.

its not ordinary paint. they use it as an expression of their freedom of speech.

jester-in-exile, you’re right there is too much information i haven’t had time to cruch on the docs.

1. so what if there are new bases? people don’t want those bases. it’ll never happen because it requires a treaty. and before such a treaty will come to pass people will be protesting in the streets and will be out for tooth and nail. but you know what? thats not the protection people ought to be looking out for. the americans, as much as it would make life easy for them to have bases here or in japan or in korea— rapid deployment, don’t want it. its expensive to be running bases on foreign soil. such days are a thing of the cold war. they have other means or will/have think/thought of other ways to do their positioning/deployment. thats how they think.

2. less rights for workers? i say equal rights for all. equal rights for men and women, equal rights for an employer (who shells out funds to keep a business running) and equal rights for an employee. true justice is fair justice— rich or poor. thats what we should be aiming for.

3. political dynasties are formed because people actually elect them. they elect the sons and wives and daughters of politicians with the same last name. maybe the politicos are actually doing such a fine job but at the end of the day, people are the boss. we say who sits at the palace and if that guy/gal turns out to screw us then we’re at fault and no one elses.

second political dyansties happen because the good people don’t run for an elected position. how can people make a good choice when there is no variety to choose from?

third, as i’ve mentioned in so many comments, i don’t believe that economic provisions or national policy should be written down in a constitution. it ties up future generations from changing them. how do we know a certain economic provision will not be needed in the future? does it mean we have to rewrite this all over again? a constitution should be vague in that matter because we need to think long term.

4, 5, 6— we call rights, rights not priviledges. our rights end when the next man’s rights are screwed. take rallies for example. if we let people protest in the streets without permits, how can we ensure they’re protected? if we let protesters use our roads non-stop, what happens to that jeep drive r who earns 200 pesos a day who probably will not see that 200 pesos because of the rallies we do? how about that jollibee store that had to close because of the protest? don’t those employees deserve to be paid their wage which we protect and how about their employer, how can they pay their jolibee employee if they don’t earn?

how many times has mendiola had to close in the past six months? all in the name of our righteousness… and those schools in the area had to close up for their students’ protection because heaven forbid something would happen. their parents worked hard for that tuition fee and those kids deserve to learn.

here we debate about rights or lack thereof. we talk about garci and how someone cheated on us. why didn’t we protest the day after the election if people knew she cheated. people knew who they voted. it happened in 86. it should have happened the last election. we talk about justice.

singapore is where it is because its leaders long ago decided to put the state above the individual’s rights. it worked for them. the founding fathers of the usa decided to put individual rights as paramount importance. but they never shrank when it was the country at stake.

what makes us different? we shrink at our responsibility to our country. we are the sovereign people, the consitution says. what we say our rights are thats what they are. what we say our responsibilities are thats what they are.

if there is anyone to blame for the lot of this country is all of us. but its way past time for blame! its time to bury wounds and work work work.

good to know your thoughts– everyone here. disagreement is good. that is democracy and discussing it move things forward. its our freedom. our difference makes people stronger.

cheers.

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manuelbuencamino

January 16th, 2006 at 6:05 pm

Congratulations. The matrix is invaluable.

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rego

January 16th, 2006 at 8:38 pm

I am not impressed at all with proposed amendments…

First and foremeost, I dont agree to the shift to parliamentary form of government….

Some of the proposals that caught my attent

1. Members of Parliament shall be elected for a term of five years, with no term limits, which shall begin, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election. The regular election of the Members of Parliament shall be held on the second Monday of May and every five years thereafter.

>>>Five year term is to much. I think three years is good! I was even thinking that we should hold election simultaneously. There should be an election every year. Like in the first year, election shall be held in Luzon only, next year, will be in Visayas only, And followed by Mindanao in the next year. This not the whole country is paralyzed by election.

>>>> Definitely there should be a term limit and that should be only ONE TERM of three years. With so many people who wanted to hold a public office, that should give the change to others… As a matter of fact there shoudl also be a limit to a one family member that can run for public office. This should give teh change for other families too.

2. Aside from being a natural born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter and a resident in the district in which he shall be elected, a Member of Parliament shall be at least twenty-five years of age on the day of the election and at least a college graduate.

DISCRIMANATORY! public service is not the monopoly of college graduates…

I preferred that only person convicted of a crime no matter how small, shall be barred from running any pulic office and even shall lose his right to vote. ( just like in the US)

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Cromwell6

January 16th, 2006 at 8:42 pm

For whatever worth there may be sans the Charter Change, and given the problem we now face as a nation in near extinction, any change from our present terrible state is truly a welcoming respite.

There’s too much stealing, killing and cheating, how would one wade all through the maze of our present system not missing out on people in government grandstanding instead of making do with reforms, I have no qualms over any system for as long as it works. This one that we have isn’t working, so what’s the fuzz?

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rego

January 16th, 2006 at 8:46 pm

It seems to me that The Committee on National Patrimony and Economic Reforms did a very good job! All proposed amendments I believe is necessary…

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koj

January 17th, 2006 at 9:07 am

the only way, if these amendments, reach the people at all for approval is to have them approved provision to provision (grouped as to relevance to each other) and not to its entirety. this way people could weed out those provisions they don’t agree.

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ernan

January 17th, 2006 at 3:48 pm

the change of charter is being desperately being pushed by the sheenanegans in malacanang to divert the attention of the people from the question of gma legitimacy. however, this is another issue.

i accept that the present constitution has flaws but the proposal of the GMA-controlled congress to do away progressive provisions to give way to the total sell-out of national patrimony and sovereignty of the nation to foreign monopoloy capitalists is totally unacceptable.

the progressive provisions was enacted to serve as the only recourse of the Filipinos from the outright trampling of their human rights by the agents of the government (although the govt is deaf in the series of HR violations, anyway), and the protection of our country from the domination of foreign nations, controlling our economy, politics and more so on the military.

the government especially under gma is hell-bent in appeasing foreign powers especially her boss george bush for another star wars episode of our country’s another colonial stooge to the expense of the poor masses.

to review our history, our charter was many times changed (with the same reason that it is for presently being pushed). we have experience having a parliamentary form of government during the Marcosian era where the late dictator serves as the prime minister the same as the president. what happened to the country? Have the Filipinos benefited from it? did we ever reach the so-called economic tiger in ASia which FVR boastfully claimed when he was the president, in which FVR tried but failed to do Cha-cha.. here we are again..

the problem of the country is deep rooted to unequal distribution of wealth, where the majority of economic gains, power and control is only concentrated to the very few “favored”, colonial minded and “tuta” ng mga imperyalista.

the government is pursuing globalization kung saan napakarami nang mga bansa ang isinuka ang ganitong patakaran because they’ve found out that it only serves the big capitalist nations, at ginagawang tambakan ng surplus, onerous loans ang mga “developing countries” kapalit ng pagkontrol sa kanilang gobyerno at mga policies nito.

ekonomista pa naman sana ang presidente… tsk tsk tsk

the country have been suffering to extreme poverty, because the government is formulating laws in contrast to what the people’s need. we have many laws purportedly to benefit the majority of the masses but when you look at it deeper, makikita mo ang mga hidden agenda ng mga pulitikong tinitingnan lamang ang kanilang interes lalo na ang kanilang class interest in which to protect their business and especially the status quo.

we can never expect, progress taon-taon man nating palitan ang konstitusyon. let us not be fooled to the propaganda of the government that in changing the charter, we would be save from the perennial problems that beset the country. the problem is the system. not only corruption. not only irresponsible governance. but the system of government in which the elites dominates and use the name of the law to satisfy their caprices.

the people are always being fooled in times of election, because they are being forced to vote for those evils lesser man o sagadsarin kasi wala naman silang choice. their lives is in the quendary on what to eat tomorrow kaya maraming pumapatol sa dumi ng pulitika at pagboboto ng mga walanghiyang trapo.

progressive change lies within the people. we can no longer expect change from the politicians who claims to be our servant, pero tayo naman pala ang unti-unting pinapatay.

only in the united masses will be the catalyst kun paano natin baguhn ang kasaysayan.

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rego

January 17th, 2006 at 6:04 pm

“only in the united masses will be the catalyst kun paano natin baguhn ang kasaysayan. ”

But how can this be achieved? Sa tingin ko kasi sila yung hilong hilo sa mga nangayayari at pilit pa ring nililito ng magkabilang panig….

By the way how do you defined the masses now? Is middle class a part of “masa”? It seems to me that the middle class got some power in the current political struggle. And I believe they are the much awaited “tipping point” .

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rego

January 17th, 2006 at 6:12 pm

koj said,

the only way, if these amendments, reach the people at all for approval is to have them approved provision to provision (grouped as to relevance to each other) and not to its entirety. this way people could weed out those provisions they don’t agree.

————————————-

Thats why I believe charter change and con-com is really not necessary at the moment. Constitutional amendments would be more appropriate. And that can be done through the present congress.

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rego

January 17th, 2006 at 6:35 pm

“third, as i’ve mentioned in so many comments, i don’t believe that economic provisions or national policy should be written down in a constitution. it ties up future generations from changing them. how do we know a certain economic provision will not be needed in the future? does it mean we have to rewrite this all over again? a constitution should be vague in that matter because we need to think long term.”

Arkangel,

I totally agree with all you’ve said except on this one! Becuase if it is not in the consti, how would you enact laws to lift up the economy? I believe there some suggestions before about land ownership by foreigners. And that they can’t do something about it because it would violate the constitution.

On the extreme, are you suggesting that we should not have a section to define our national patrimony and economic policies in our constitution? And woudl woudl just be a freewhelling laws that should define our economy.

Seems like a good idea to me actually. Becuase economy is the most dynamic aspect of a a nation…BTW have you read about the plan to unify the whole asia similar to EU and with single currency too? That means if that will happen we have to amend our consitution again if we want to join that Union… .

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tongue in, anew

January 18th, 2006 at 2:02 am

Whether Gloria and her allies admit it, her speech at the Lakas caucus and their push for Charter change (Cha-cha) with a definite parliamentary model that will ensure Gloria’s stay in Malacañang, grant her and her allies full power without accountability for both Gloria and her Lakas parliament, have turned off the Filipino people as they have given the public the impression they will be ramming down the throats of Filipinos Cha-cha that would moreover guarantee Gloria’s stay in Malacañang not only up till 2010 but forever.

Worse, the thieving will continue non-stop, but this time, all investigations will come to a halt, given a Lakas-dominated parliament. As for that no-confidence vote to topple government, that is not going to happen, precisely because no matter the hard evidence of high scale Palace scams, no matter the stealing, the lying and the cheating done by Gloria and her allies, there won’t be any vote to topple a Gloria government from her parliament, precisely because they have proved too many times, that at all costs — including the destruction of their very institution and their rejection of their constituents’ calls for public accountability and a check on the executive — Gloria must be protected from all these legitimate ouster moves. Their handling of the impeachment complaint against Gloria is already proof of just how a parliament run by Gloria and her Lakas will be handling calls for a no-confidence vote to oust her.

Nothing that she and her Lakas do will earn her credibility points, nor make her claims of legitimacy stick.

That is still the core problem, and sooner or later, she and her Lakas caboodle will have to go.

(Not my own words. Lifted verbatim from Tribune’s website)

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eyesWideopen2

January 18th, 2006 at 4:07 am

That LAKAS GLURIA meeting or caucus as they call it shows us a taste of whats to come.

They assume and they presume. They lay the rules.
They play the game. Theirs is the game.

The Parliament of the dictators. The parliament of the irresponsible. The parliament of the power hungry. The parliament of the leech.

If the people will continue to be passive, we will end up being eaten by this wolves.

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arkangel1a

January 18th, 2006 at 7:05 am

rego, the uk has a mix of written and unwritten constitution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_constitution. the usa doesn’t dictate economic policy.

economic policy is a matter that should be planned by the executive department. its an executive function because it changes from time to time. thats the nature of our world— its dynamic, always changing. all the consitution has to say is that economic policy is determined by the executive department and thats their job.

why? our future— five years down the line will require corporations, countries to move at an even faster pace— just to keep up with our neighbors, more so today. by putting for example that the philippines is against say “free trade” in a constitution effectively blocks or ties our economic managers’ hand or effectively cuts them out of important negotiations. if we do not want our lands to be owned for example by foreigners— then let it be law, just not in the basic law, just not in the constitution because putting it there makes it harder to change it when the moment comes when we /might/ have to. it becomes therefore cheaper for us in the long term to adjust policy to meet the times.

and thats also where our senators and congressmen come into play as well. why we pay them. the executive deparment today proposes budgets, treaties, etc. etc. to senate/house or both depending on the situation. there are hearings when laws come into play. thats the nature of democracy isn’t it? people like you and me will go to congress to express our grievances with a particular policy of our country because we believe in our positions.

another example is us bases. we kicked them out. that was the right thing to do then as it is today (if we had to do it). but what if we put that into the constitution that no foreign military base will ever ever set foot in this country and then twenty-thirty years down the road we /might/ form an alliance with the us or some other superpower to setup bases here because the geopolitical scenario of that time will demand us to do so. we can not possibly predict the geopolitical scenarios happening too far into the future. but if we put into the charter right now that there will not be any foreign military base in this country— thats effectively cutting off /an option/ that future generations /may/ need.

i know we don’t trust our leaders to do their job. its much their fault in lying to us, and stealing and cheating and basically putting their own pockets/wellbeing before us. its also much our fault for electing them in that position or letting them cheat their way into office, or doing the occasional bribe to get favors or bailing some relative of ours out of a tight spot.

to me, dictators are good if and only if they put their people’s wellbeing, their country’s wellbeing before their own. thats a function of leadership— to determine and act and sometimes thats whats lacking in our country: discipline and what a military man might call the chain of command.

imagine an medical intern not following his resident/attending/consultant in curing a patient because in his mind’s eye he/she is right. when discipline is lost we’ll never really amount to anything.

that said, tongue in, anew is right though: “the parliament of the irresponsible, the parliament of the power hungry, the parliament of the leech” our leaders need to change as much as we do. they need to earn our trust.

you know why i like the pcij blog? because they make such things as this matrix. it gives us a space to think constructively and be informed of the important issues. i wish more people can read this stuff. i believe one of the responsibilities of democracy is to stay informed, be informed and inform others so we don’t “end up being eaten by the wolves” as tongue in, anew puts it. a lot of it won’t be what we want. it won’t be perfect but hopefully when the time comes for us to vote for or against the government’s proposals, we’ll be ready to make the right choice after carefully weighing all our options.

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rego

January 19th, 2006 at 8:03 am

Wheeww, to much learning from you archangel. Thank you sooooo much!
And I totally agree!!!!!!!!

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indio_lawless

January 20th, 2006 at 3:39 pm

There is really a funny feeling I cannot suppress every time I chanced upon the proposed changes in the Fundamental Law.

I don’t want really to participate, just like Randy David, in a “great debate” whether it’s among my peers or among my students.
But sometimes, I feel the urge to say my piece both as a student of law and as an officer of the court.

I will not essay on the Parliament. It’s the same Congress with a different political collar.

What really amuses me is the blatant if not vulgar way to re-write our Constitution to suit the vested interests of some if not of few. Blatant in the sense that the political dynasties are to prosper till kingdom come by virtue of deleting sec. 26 of Article II. It can also be said in deleting Section’s 8, 9 and 27 thereof, we are encouraging nuclear weapons, unemployment and graft and corruption to prosper.

What about on the area of citizenship? The proposal is to delete sec.1 (3) on electing Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority for those born before January 17, 1973. Why? What for? Is there an overwhelming number of elite that failed to exercise this modality? I do say elite because they are the direct beneficiary of this particular amendment.

How about the liberalization of foreign ownership of corporations? Well, I’ve heard this is a welcome move to spur employment and economic growth? Well, that’s manna from heaven for Mainland Chinese taipans as well as Arian blooded business tycoons. Sorry na lang Entrepinoys.

And how about the Bill of Duties? Say it gain? BILL OF DUTIES ?
It really saddened me to know that some CONCOM are lawyers. They should be quick to point out that our Civil Code provides for this thing unless, of course, there’s an evil design in highlighting it. Shades of posse comitatus? My not so intelligent guess.

All in all, the proponents are taking us for a crappy ride, folks.

Watch your back tightly then :)

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tongue in, anew

January 21st, 2006 at 4:13 am

Me too, I wouldn’t even encourage debate yet. What I want to see is that all relevant parties submit their own version of the constitution and highlight the differences and start debating from there. Thus, we are not debating only on Abueva’s constitution proposals. We open the discussion to various alternatives and narrow the choices to two which the people will select from in a referendum.

We should also stop including proposals we cannot implement. For example, what did we do when nuclear-powered ships and subs were participants in VFA exercises? The nuclear reactor in UP, I think, is still there although I have not been to UP lately. We do not have the technology to retire nuclear reactors so I am pretty sure this bankrupt government won’t even bother spending on handling nuclear waste. I think that reactor in Mandaluyong is a small scale nuclear one, too.

We should do away with specifics except for limits that must be rigid and must stay on for eternity. A simple declaration of our direction as a race, the spirit of our existence among the family of nations, our values as a people, and what we all want to become. It must stand on its own and not be swayed by the dynamics of natural, artificial, personal, spiritual forces.

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lokalokang matino

January 22nd, 2006 at 2:17 pm

I have a great idea, since gloria hungers for more terms, lets give it to her. The new constitution should allow her until 2010, and another 30 year term – IN JAIL, 10 for cheating, 10 for stealing, 10 for lying. That would be fair to all !!!

With this provision, the proponents of CHA-CHA will have no problem campaigning for its ratification.

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lokalokang matino

January 22nd, 2006 at 8:28 pm

Professor Randy David is 1million % correct when he said “Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the wrong person to start the “great debate” on Charter change. Like the highly respected Prof, let us not participate. For me participating is an immoral, because it gives legitimacy to the CHEATER,THIEF AND LIAR. Up to now in fact, I cant find any compelling reason for the components of the CONSULTATIVE COMMISSION when they accepted the assignment. I tried to find reasons, but my simple mind can’t find any other than bested interest.

Were they promised seat in that parliament? Remember one of the provisions is that the President/Prime Minister has the power to appoint so and so numbers of its members to that parlliament, in addition to some % of her equally illegal cabinet.

If it is true that a certain member of CON-COM in the name of Atty. P. Bengzon is salivating for a SEC position to be vacated soon due to the retirement of one of its members, then how do we call it? What was promised to Abueva and the rest. IF these CON-COM people has an inch of SELLF-RESPECT and PRIDE, they will not have accepted the assignment. I myself could not imagine sharing stage or photo with gloria and any member of her official family. BAKA masuka lang ako!!!

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naykika

January 22nd, 2006 at 8:47 pm

By posting comments, or even mentioning the subject you are participating in the debate. Which ever side of the debate you are, there is nothing wrong with participation. It’s is better to speak up when you have a chance than keeping your silence. Unknowingly, those who say they don’t want to participate by writing their reasons why has already done so and for that you have already done your part.
And for that you will always have my support even when we are on the different sides of the debate.

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koj

January 22nd, 2006 at 10:37 pm

nicely said naykika. i agree.

however, everything is moot unless congress acts, for theirs is really the one that counts and the one that will eventually be presented to the people. hopefully congress clearly hears what the people has to say in blogs or in other ways and rightfully act or choose not to act.

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pinoy abroad

January 22nd, 2006 at 11:29 pm

THE CONSTITUTION IS NOT THE PROBLEM, IT IS THE POLITICIANS (I RESOLVE NOT TO REFER TO THEM AS LEADERS BECAUSE I’M AFRAID WHERE THEY WILL LEAD US TO)!

US had the same constitution where carter, reagan, bush, clinton and bus lead their country. Canada had the same constitution as before. I can name other countries who had never change their constitutions and yet remain to be productive nations.

It is only in the Philippines that every newly elected president (are they really elected or just cheats their way to the office?) wants a new constitution created.

The constitution that we have works for Cory, it works for Ramos, it works for Erap… why it doesn’t work for GLUE-RIA?

Bullshit, it is not the constitution, it’s GLORIA ARROYO – this small woman who lies big is the problem. She must be the one changed and not our constitution!

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vonpogi

January 23rd, 2006 at 12:21 am

Mga kababayan ko at mayroon na naman masasabi si KUTONG LUPA GMA at ipagyayabang. Kasi nanalo si Manny Pacquio kagabi sa Las Vegas sa laban niya kay Erik Morales. Tiyak ko mag papaganda na naman itong Pandak na ito at magyayabang. Kung ako kay Pacquio ay hindi ako pagagamit ulit kay PANDAK.

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naykika

January 23rd, 2006 at 12:32 am

koj; They better do. Ignore the voice of the poeple at your own peril. That is the problem in the first place. Our so- called leader always think they have the monopoly of wisdom and they keep ignoring the small voices, look- have they gone anywhere?

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vonpogi

January 23rd, 2006 at 12:46 am

MANNY PACQUIO MABUHAY KA AT KAHIT PAPAANO AY MAY MAGANDANG BALITA PARA SA BANSA NATIN (hindi lagi ang kurakot ng mga politiko).

May nagsabi lang sa akin na (isang Col.) na ang LOYALTY CHECK ni PANDAK ay may kasamang totoong check para lang hindi bumaliktad ang ibang Heneral na tumulong sa kanya. Ang masakit daw ay pati ang mga alalay ng Heneral ay may nakukuha rin pondo or pera. Hindi lang iyan daw at mayroon pang buwanan na under the table na pera galing kay Bulldog Mike Arrovo. Kaya ang mga Heneral ay parang asong ulol kung ano ang sabihin ng mga ARROVO ay gagawin nila dahil nga daw nabayaran na sila. Totoong ililipat at sasaktan daw ang apat na sundalong tumakas kaya napilitin at natulungan ng kapwa opisyal.

Ito lang pala ang katapat ng mga HENERAL na ito kundi pera at bale wala sa kanila ang taong bayan. Kaya pala malakas ang loob ni Katotong Mike “Napaka sinungaling” Defensor na lalaban sila BALA SA BALA. Dahil may perang pantapat sila sa mga nagbabantay sa kanila.
Pera natin iyun ah… Kawawa naman ang bayan natin at kailan kaya magigising ang ibang opisyales ng milit

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vonpogi

January 23rd, 2006 at 12:53 am

Ang ganda ng RASON ni Sen. Pimentel na hindi siya makakarating sa “COUNCIL OF STATE” ni Pandak dahil may EO 464 daw siya (HE,HE)

Sana iyun na lang ang sabihin ( ang EO 464) lahat ng mga Oposisyon na may hadlang sa kanila kaya hindi makakarating sa PEKENG MEETING.

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naykika

January 23rd, 2006 at 1:09 am

pinoy abroad said,
US had the same constitution where carter, reagan, bush, clinton and bus lead their country. Canada had the same constitution as before.

You’re right,we have the l867 constitution brought home and
amended in l982 to catch up with time especially in the provisions of Freedom and Rights to reflect the aspirations and desires of modern Canada, where all nationalities frm all corner of the world can freely express and enjoy the same, regardless of race, color and beliefs. and it works and you ask me why, because we make it works.

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tongue in, anew

January 23rd, 2006 at 7:27 am

I’m eager to know what kind of constitution the assholes in Batasan are drafting. I’m sure somewhere within it are explicit (or maybe hidden?) provisions that will guarantee that Gloria’s whole syndicate won’t be held accountable for their sins, especially Gloria’s, beyond 2010.

That is, if Gloria even contemplates on leaving Malacañang at all. What with the proposals to abolish term limits. That con-com chaired by Abueva was the biggest collection of educated stooges ever assembled to achieve naught. Of course, second only to the do-nothing circus called Philippine House of Representathieves.

Look at their priorities! They’re not even keen on passing the 2006 budget. So that Gloria gets even more leeway in appropriating the whole P1.1Trillion (whoo!) as if it were her personal pork barrel. Yes, Baycas, to bribe the soon-to-be Members of Parliament with more invisible-na-nagevaporate-pa fertilizers, public school “scholarships”, bridges to nowhere, 3-inch thick pavements for highways, and what have you. The whole money will be part of the tyrant’s monstrous war chest as she expects a more protracted political showdown this year.

Kap, hinog na ang prutas. Maaari ng pitasin, ba’t hihintaying mabulok?

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Cromwell6

January 23rd, 2006 at 10:42 am

Be as it may, it seems everybody would rather be in trouble than really confront the problem as it is with the fervor crucial in finding for us genuine resoutions, change or no change. The world is already in such a mess and here we are not really knowing enough, actually, we don’t deserve to be a nation united because we are so damn uncaring and so naive as people, so shallow in manner of disposition.

Mabuhay si Manny Pacquiao!

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freewheel

January 26th, 2006 at 8:49 pm

cromwell6;

similar thoughts keeps bugging my head for some time now, that there is actually no nation to speak of– no sense of direction (well, except you know …), no single race, no single language that binds us together.

of course we all agree that the system is defective or that at least it needs repair, however as to the methodologies we again always go kaput.

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guspad

January 27th, 2006 at 2:58 pm

I never had a chance to read the 1987 consti. The changes must not be
the form of government. The US had been a presidential form of govt., yet
it remains to be the superpower of the world. What needs to be changed
are the ff:
1) return of a true two party system. the multi-party system is the
principal cause of filipino divisiveness.
2) return of the minimum voting age to 21. less voters less expenses
to candidates.
3) abolition of the recall elections. this adds up to confusion and
chaos after elections.
4) return to a four-year term for all elective officials. a three
year term is more expensive in the long run.
5) abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan elections. youth are trained
on traditional politics early.
6) Holding of elections on November and not May. the remaining budget
for next six months may be gone.
7) More autonomy to local govt.

Federalism is not the answer to our woes. What we need are sincere and
honest people in Congress, Senate, Judiciary and Malacañang

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rego

January 30th, 2006 at 9:31 pm

” If the GMA administratiion is really serious to change our present form of govt. , then, she and JDV should make a pact with the nation that they will not aspire for the presidency and prime ministership respectively. Let’s see if they will still be as aggressive as they are now for charter change. ”

Obet, what kind of pact is that? If its only verbal. I definitely would not agree! Our politicians is very very notorious of breaking any verbal agreement ( read: promises). I would rather prefer that they put it in the proposed draft that all elective officials I MEAN EVERYBODY from the president down to a barangay councilor who held the public position in past shall not be allowed to run under the new form of government. And even all the administrative position like the Cabinet, Commissioners and Dept Bureau heads . Everybody should be replaced. NOW THAT IS THE REAL CHANGE FOR ME!!!!!!

Kasi if we change our form of government or the constitution without changing the very people that will lead us into a new government or era. Wala ring mangyayari eh. Its just like changing underwears!

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rego

January 30th, 2006 at 9:41 pm

Guspad, your suggestions are the most practical one and the most sensible among the so many that I read so far! It very doable pa! I really don’t agree that we should change the constitution and/or the form of government now. A few amendment maybe!

If ever we change and if we can afford it , I would really prefer that we do replace all the people that serves the current and previous governments, from the very top to the very bottom Which I believe, that was you are trying to suggest too!

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guspad

January 31st, 2006 at 12:00 pm

thanks Rego for your comments. but i still believe that there are still honest and sincere people at congress, senate, judiciary, malacañang? (some lowly employees, maybe).

if we need charter change, we need to go back to the 1935 consti and make amendments thereon. the 1935 consti which was patterned after the us is sufficient enough for us to go forward. in 1986, after EDSA I, we are all in euphoria that only a few raised an eyebrow when the new consti was drafted. Was there a referendum approving the 1986 constitution? i don’t remember voting for or against it.

Yes, Rego, you are right. I am also for absolute change of people running the government. But you must remember that you and I and everybody else is part of the government. Therefore, that absolute change must start from us, you and i. and the only way to change this government right now is through a revolution.

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INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Another easy guide, this time, to the House-proposed Constitution

January 31st, 2006 at 12:44 pm

[…] At first glance, the House draft appears to be a benign document, with seemingly fewer controversial provisions than what the Constitution being proposed by the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo-assembled Consultative Commission on charter change (Con-Com) contains. […]

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rego

January 31st, 2006 at 1:10 pm

Revolution? yes, Guspad I agree. And I guess thats what almost everybody wants. But I feel that people are very very cautious about it though and that includes me. Its really difficult to decide which revolutions you would want to join. At ang dami nila huh! I almost joined the revolution being espoused by the left but I realized it wasn’t for meI I joined the People Power revolution and looked what happend. I guess the only revolution that is very safe and more effective for me is really Self Revolution. It a very long process though but I am starting the good harvest already. So on with it I believed.

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blog @ AWBHoldings.com » Blog Archive » On Citizenship and Politics

February 18th, 2006 at 9:38 pm

[…] The Abueva Constitutional Commission thought otherwise. Its draft Constitution has a Bill of Duties, “to inculcate in citizens the responsible use of their rights”, to quote PCIJ. You may download the PCIJ’s matrix of comparison between the Abueva draft and the current Charter here. […]

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INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Former Con-Com member reveals ‘inside story’ on charter change

March 1st, 2006 at 11:49 pm

[…] VICENTE Paterno, erstwhile member of the Consultative Commission (Con-Com) on charter change created by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to study and propose recommendations for a new Constitution, has come out in public to say that he is dissociating himself from all Con-Com activities and will oppose moves to amend the charter. […]

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INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Cha-cha’s real aim, an impeachment-proof Arroyo presidency — ALG

March 28th, 2006 at 11:14 am

[…] Neither the proposed draft of the Consultative Commission on charter change nor the House working version contemplates an impeachment-proof provision in their transitory provisions. But it appears that the House draft is the inspiration behind increasing the number of votes required to impeach an impeachable officer, including the President. […]

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INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » People’s initiative: Two contrasting views from former Con-Com members

April 7th, 2006 at 1:32 am

[…] Azurin was one of seven commissioners who submitted a minority report opposing the Con-Com’s proposed charter amendments that included, among others, transitory provisions calling for term extensions of all elected officials until 2010. […]

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INSIDE PCIJ » Easy guide to the latest House revisions to 1987 Constitution

September 14th, 2006 at 4:40 pm

[…] The PCIJ also compared changes in the committee’s earlier drafts with the 61-page, expanded version of House Resolution No. 1230, which contains the latest proposed amendments. The matrix shows that certain amendments in previous versions — especially the more “controversial” ones which have drawn widespread criticism — have been revised in the new draft. (Download the matrix. Words marked in blue under the “remarks” column refer to revisions in previous versions.) You may also access previous matrices here and here.) […]

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