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.

Paterno, who worked as trade secretary under the Cory administration, says he is "now fully convinced that Mrs. Arroyo seeks not only to retain her Presidency but to expand her powers through charter change." Article XX, the Con-Com transitory provisions, he says, clearly define the strong motivation for Arroyo’s determined efforts to get charter change (cha-cha) ratified.

When the Con-Com submitted its report to Arroyo in December last year, the primary focus of criticism and indignation was Section 7 of Article XX, known as the NO-EL (no elections) provision, which Paterno says guarantees that the interim Parliament (2007-2010) will be "filled with tried and proven allies, ready to do Arroyo’s bidding." But Paterno cites other sections — Sections 7, 9, and 11 to 13 — of Article XX that are not as widely known and are even more disturbing.

Paterno discusses the relevant sections of Article XX below:

In a normal parliamentary system, the head of Government is the Prime Minister. He is elected to that post by his peers, the members of Parliament. Members of the Cabinet are MPs elected by the people. The President’s duties are ceremonial to open Parliament, dissolve it upon advice of the Prime Minister, greet new ambassadors, be the symbol of national unity as Head of State. Compare those normal parliament’s features with the provisions in Sections 9, and 11-13.

  • Members of her cabinet will not be elected MPs but appointed by the President. Per Section 9, one-third (1/3) of them shall become MPs by her appointment. Thirty (30) other persons shall also be appointed MPs by the President.
  • The interim Parliament will elect an interim Prime Minister. But Section 11 says he will not be the head of government but just a cabinet member. Section 12 makes clear he is a mere cabinet member, for the interim prime minister and the cabinet shall function "under the direction and supervision of the incumbent President "
  • Section 13 states that "in the interim Parliament, the incumbent President shall exercise the powers vested in the Head of State and the Head of government under this Constitution."

In my interpellation to oppose these provisions in Con-Com, I asked if these were not the same powers that Marcos gave himself. Spontaneous answer by sponsor of the provision Raul Lambino — YES.

Sections 9 and 11-13 should by now have been opposed by Congress, for downgrading the interim Parliament. But they have not. Developments leave me no doubt GMA herself is pushing these provisions. In a new body to promote cha-cha, the co-chairs — Attys. Romela Bengzon and Raul Lambino — were main sponsors in Con-Com of these onerous sections. The appointment of Cong. (Ronaldo) Puno to DILG, given his well known dagdag-bawas and other election distorting skills, further confirms to us that GMA will leave no stone unturned for chacha and Article XX to be ratified by any means.

Below are the cited sections of Article XX on Transitory Provisions as proposed by the Con-Com:

  • Section 7. The elections scheduled in 2007 shall be cancelled and the terms of office of all elective officials shall be extended to June 30, 2010, coinciding with those of the incumbent President and Vice-President and the twelve Senators elected in 2004.

    The first elections of Members of the Parliament and the first local elections under this Constitution shall be held on the second Monday of May 2010.

  • Section 9. The Members of the interim Parliament shall be the incumbent members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, at least one-third of the Cabinet, with portfolio, and thirty persons, experienced and experts in their respective fields, shall likewise become members of the Parliament upon appointment by the President.
  • Section 11. The interim Parliament, by a majority vote of all its members, shall elect an interim Prime Minister. He shall be a member of the Cabinet.

  • Section 12. Under the direction and supervision of the incumbent President; the interim Prime Minister and the Cabinet shall exercise all the powers and functions and discharge the responsibilities of the regular Prime Minister and Cabinet under this Constitution.
  • Section 13. In the interim Parliament, the incumbent President shall exercise the powers vested in the Head of State and the head of Government under this Constitution, except the power to dissolve this Parliament, until the expiration of her term on June 30, 2010. The incumbent President and Vice-President shall be subject to the same disqualification and manner of removal as provided in this Constitution.

    In case a vacancy arises by reason of removal, resignation, permanent incapacity or death of the incumbent President, the incumbent Vice-President shall become the President. 

23 Responses to Former Con-Com member reveals
‘inside story’ on charter change

Avatar

benign0

March 1st, 2006 at 5:55 pm

So what exactly does this Paterno guy hope to accomplish by “dissociating” himself from the Con Com?

Ano yan, STATEMENT na naman ba?

And check out what this guy had to say:

“In my interpellation to oppose these provisions in Con-Com, I asked if these were not the same powers that Marcos gave himself. Spontaneous answer by sponsor of the provision Raul Lambino — YES”

So let’s cut a long story short. This guy didn’t like how the new constitution was shaping out. So what was his solution? Quit. Didn’t he think that the reason he was IN the Con Com is so that he can influence the outcome of its activities?

Drama lang yan. 😀

And as usual, high-drama gets air time in the press, which then gets eaten up by the tongue-wagging public.

Avatar

dimasalang

March 1st, 2006 at 6:20 pm

Maybe we should not look first at the motives but the validity of his arguments and its content. I’m sure he has his own reasons, siyempre politiko rin yan e. Pero, at least, kung tama yung sinabi niya meron tayong natutunan na bago.

Avatar

jhay

March 1st, 2006 at 7:35 pm

i agree, focus on the issue not on the personality. Kaya walang nangyayari, puro ad hominem attacks kasi, natatabunan na tuloy ang mga isyu at ito naman talaga ang dapat na pinag-uusapan at nireresolba.

Avatar

naykika

March 1st, 2006 at 9:22 pm

but in the muddled world of “modern politics” it seems we could no longer distinguish which is which. we focus on the issue, but if the person character or personality is in question, or you focus on the personality and if the issue is in question. now how do we start? i’m confused now.

Avatar

scud_1975

March 1st, 2006 at 9:37 pm

dont be confused my dear naykika, ganyan talaga ikot ng politika sa Pinas. Importante ang personality kahit sa anong issue, pag “BIG NAME” ka nganganga ka pa lang pinaguusapan na sasabihin mo. Masarap kumontra sa mga panahong ito, yun ang uso ngayon..pag may bumaliktad at nagsalita, “Wow! inside story to”

Avatar

MitaMS

March 2nd, 2006 at 12:20 am

PROPOSED. RECOMMENDATIONS. those are the root words here. kung ayaw natin, tanggihan. tanggihan ang cha cha, mambo, foxtrot at salsa…lahatin na …kung hindi dadaanin sa referendum. We have a say in our future, so let’s say it.

The commission report is available to the public, right? Saan makikita yon in full text? Let’s all read it so we have a better understanding of that issue. In Ka Ernie Baron’s memory – Knowledge Power!

Did Paterno quit the commission before their recommendations were released?

Avatar

SideStep

March 2nd, 2006 at 8:05 am

Vicente Paterno was a DPWH secretary in the Marcos era, and a DTI secretary and a non-reelectionist senator in the Cory years. A well-respected businessman of the 7-11 chain, he is one of the untainted personalities that served both the Marcos and Cory administrations, and now the Arroyo regime, through the Con-Com.

Avatar

to_agol

March 2nd, 2006 at 10:03 am

di ako bilib, hmmmmm… d makapagkatiwalaan….. may duda maka drama lang

Avatar

lc

March 2nd, 2006 at 2:57 pm

Focusing on the motives behind the criticims against or support for the CONCOM proposals should not be more important than reviewing the proposals themselves which seem to lean towards an autocracy (or at least the same oligarchy we’ve always had) rather than democracy.

Thailand has a parliamentary system of gov’t. Yet because of allegations of corruption and abuses of power by PM Shinawatra, it has, since Feb, been experiencing constant protest rallies calling for the PM’s resignation, and has had 2 impeachment attempts, rumours of a coup, and is now geared for an April snap election.

The presence/absence of corruption and abuse and the resulting public outcry against, and the resulting chaos surrounding, them are not determined by the system gov’t.

Avatar

assumptionista

March 2nd, 2006 at 3:18 pm

very nice insight lc!!

we should have a change of heart and values not a change of constitution.We can have the best constitution, but with the same politicians we will still end up the same……confused…struggling….poor……hungry….used…….

I just hope this cha-cha will not prosper…if it does…. may god help us all…….

Avatar

lokalokang matino

March 2nd, 2006 at 4:25 pm

At least si Paterno, nang makita nya ng buo ang proposal ng CON-COM nakita nya ang tunay na agenda ng initiator nito.
Halata naman, tingnan na lang ito:
(CUT-N-PASTE)
“Members of her cabinet will not be elected MPs but appointed by the President. Per Section 9, one-third (1/3) of them shall become MPs by her appointment. Thirty (30) other persons shall also be appointed MPs by the President.”
(End of Cut-N-Paste)
Ano pa ba naman nyan, naniniguro agad na ang mga MPs ay kampi nya.
Kasi nga naman pag nag-election, kabado siya na matalo lahat ng ka-kampi nya. SUSMARYOSEP kung hindi ka pa naman matauhan sa ganyan kalakaran, ay kung hindi ka tanga, eh tuta ka na talaga.

Read more the proposals and see for yourselves,

Now if there is a provision sa proposal that “NO EX-PRESIDENT CAN RUN IN THE ELECTION AFTER 2010” ( ok na pagbibigyan ko na si gloria til 2010), baka maniwala pa ako. Pero sa awa ng diyos mukhang wala akong nababasa. Mukhang may hidden agenda talaga.

Sa bagay kung mawawala nga naman sya sa pwesto, eh baka kulongan ang hahantungan nya instead sa vacation house nya. Mayroon vacation house kaya siya sa Batangas? Doon sa bayan ni Nani Peres.

Avatar

MitaMS

March 3rd, 2006 at 2:35 am

paano magiging hidden kung public document naman yung proposals ng Con Com?

Avatar

cenda_heg

March 3rd, 2006 at 10:35 am

************

Members of her cabinet will not be elected MPs but appointed by the President. Per Section 9, one-third (1/3) of them shall become MPs by her appointment. Thirty (30) other persons shall also be appointed MPs by the President.

The interim Parliament will elect an interim Prime Minister. But Section 11 says he will not be the head of government but just a cabinet member. Section 12 makes clear he is a mere cabinet member, for the interim prime minister and the cabinet shall function “under the direction and supervision of the incumbent President ”

***************

lantarang paglalantad ng hidden agenda….anlakas!!!!!!

Avatar

lokalokang matino

March 3rd, 2006 at 12:03 pm

Ay naku people, read between the lines, dont be so so, naive.

Remember in 30 December 2003, gloria said ” I will not run”, It was not only published but aired on national television, LIVE in the gates of The Baguio Mansion House.

O, according to CNN, gloria lifted STATE OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY.

Avatar

cenda_heg

March 3rd, 2006 at 1:03 pm

panu yan, eh di lalabas, moot and academic na naman yang mga petitions against P1017…another nice ground for the Supreme Court not to decide the petitions upon the merits…kagaling na maniubra, hanu po?

Avatar

cenda_heg

March 3rd, 2006 at 1:16 pm

and in one of those speeches of the incumbent president (naks! sarap ng term na yan ah cha-cha-wise), magarang-magara pa pagkakasabi nya when she said: “there will be no need for people power and coups in a parliamentary form of government…”

pala, tinutukoy nya eh, June 30, 2010 and beyond…kasi ayun sa proposed constitution, up to that date, ang incumbent president ay mananatiling incumbent….waaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!!!!

anu yan, parang salary increase ng mga legislators na no-effect sa mga nag-aprub na incumbent during their term of office? nice analogy….

Avatar

penpenpen88

March 3rd, 2006 at 6:02 pm

whats our business kasi chaging our form of government.. pag naging parliamentary tayo lalakas lang powers ng presidente.. wlang checks and balance.. yung gulo an dyan pa rin.. you only need to look at thailand.. all of this is just a waste of taxpayers money.. and a diversion to the issues at hand.. yun ay if we have a lying cheating president ba at malacanang.. yun ang isyu..
di ba??

get real gloria!!! =-)

Avatar

Chabeli

March 4th, 2006 at 1:04 am

Today’s (04 March 2006) issue of the Manila Standard Today says that “Ex-ConCom members gang up on Paterno.” This makes it even more obvious that this is a Malcanan lead harrassment! Isn’t former ConCom Romella Bengzon “with” Ed Ermita?

Avatar

tongue in, anew

March 4th, 2006 at 4:12 am

Eto nai-tip ng insider ko sa Malacañang. Sa referendum, ipapagamit lahat ng ATM ng mga bangko, lalagyan lang ng software at presto, automated na ang botohan. Matipid na, mabilis pa, walang dagdag-bawas.

Isa lang ang tanong na sasagutin:

Payag ka bang ipatupad ang bagong saligang batas ng Republika ng Pilipinas?

Pag pindot mo ng “Oo”, may lalabas na P500 mula sa cash dispenser.

Pag pindot mo ng “Hindi” may lalabas sa receipt dispenser. Nakalagay doon “Transaction failed, invalid selection. Please try again.”

Avatar

MitaMS

March 4th, 2006 at 5:05 am

chabeli,
headline lang yon. someone’s choice of words…doesn’t make it the truth. the others were defending their honor because Ting Paterno alleged they were in cahoots and mere puppets of the administration. i think they have a right to clear their name…just as much as Ting Paterno has a right to change his mind after all the time that has passed when he was part of the Con Com….

Avatar

naykika

March 4th, 2006 at 5:44 am

Inside story should stay inside story. That is the essence of deliberation. Those people who took the job as member of the con-com may have taken them in good faith and may have different views of how they go about the proposals. The finish product is there for everyone to see and debate. Everytime someone go out in public to divulge what was taken place in privy after- is not a right atmosphere for anyone to join any future deliberation.

Avatar

totoong_totong

March 4th, 2006 at 10:51 am

Ang usapin sa pagbabago ng konstitusyon ay dapat “with full transparency” at hindi dapat may nakatago. Transparency ang pang-kontra sa may mga balak na masama.

Sino ba ang may kakayahan na ipasok ang kanilang pan-sariling “agenda” at linlangin ang mamamayan upang baguhin ang konstitusyon? Walang masama sa pagbabago kung hindi ito nahahaluan ng pansariling “agenda” at makitid na kaisipan.
Hinahanap natin ang pagbabago kung ito ay totoong sa kapakanan ng nakararaming mamamayan.

Ang pagbunyag ni Ginoong Paterno ay bahagi ng proseso ng demokrasya upang maunawaan ng mamamayan ang mga totoong pangyayari at makapagpasya ng tama.

Walang karapatan ang iilan na pag-usapan ng sila-sila lang
ang kinabukasan ng buong bayan.

Avatar

Chabeli

March 4th, 2006 at 3:28 pm

Thanks for your comments on that one, MitaMS.

Comment Form