Hidden motive for proposed Charter Change is unmasked

EXPECT diehard proponents of Charter change to oppose strongly a proposal to amend the provisions in the Constitution piece through simple legislation.

The reason could be that real motive and intention is not really to correct the antiquated economic provisions of the organic law but a “wholesale” amendment of the Constitution to change the form of government from presidential to parliamentary system.

This political manuever can only be done through the calling of Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) where members of the convention are elected by the people for the purpose; through Constitutional Commission (Con-Com) whose members are chosen and appointed by the President of the Republic; or Constitutional Assembly (Con-Ass) whose members are the sitting members of the House and the Senate.

A new system or form of government will pave the way for former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now a representative of Pampanga to run as member of the parliament in his hometown of Lubao, Pampanga and be voted upon as prime minister or head of government.

Constitutional expert Fr. Joaquin Bernas had voiced his opinion that the provisions in the Constitution could be amended one by one through the usual legislation.

Bernas said that following American tradition which spanned some 15 years to amend the US Constitution, Filipinos could do the same and have the 1987 Charter amended through simple legislation on a piecemeal basis.

Bernas said such constitutional amendments can be carried out through the usual legislation process with Congress not having to be convened into a constituent assembly or calling for a Constitutional Convention.

Presidential Commission Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ricky Carandang said Malacanang was ready to listen to arguments but not necessarily to support the move for Charter Change (Cha-Cha), more specially wholesale amendments of the Constitution.

Whatever happened to Anti-Fencing Law?

Car theft cases proliferate because there is a big market for stolen vehicles and car spare parts. It seem anti-fencing law is now a dead law for non-use either because police authorities have no political will to implement it or they are on the take on this lucrative illegal activities. It is a question that only the police can provide the answer.

Carnapping or carjacking cases are on the rise because stolen vehicles and spare parts are patronize the people. Added to this is the protection the police give to carnap groups. As of this writing five carjacking groups that operate in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Southern Tagalog are currently the subject of a massive manhunt by the Highway Patrol Group.

The Interior department and Philippines National Police leadership should nip the problem right from the bud. A task force composed of incorruptible police officers must be created to carry out strictly the provisions of the anti-fencing law that punishes both the seller and buyer of stolen property like cars and spare parts.

We can no longer afford the luxury of being just reactive instead of being pro-active and per-emptive in dealing with our problems.

Filipino families breaking up!

Judging from the assessments of judges that without creating more family courts members of the bench in Las Pinas cannot cope with the rising number of couples in that city who wanted to split up.

We can safely presume that similar sorry state is true in neighbouring cities and towns in Greater Manila Area and most urban areas of the country.

Judges from Las Pinas trial courts, as well as city prosecutors and public defenders raised this problem and other legal issues with officials of the Supreme Court during the launching of the Justice on Wheels program in Las Pinas.

The other cases involve violence against women and children which also fall under the jurisdiction of the family courts. The two other Las Pinas family courts have almost 800 cases pending their dockets, while regular courts have an average of 60 to 80 cases.

Expect the situation to worsen further if the proposed legislation making legal separation affordable to poor couples is passed into law.

The family is the basic component of society and if it is weaken through legal separation Filipino society will collapse. If this is not self-destruction then what is it?

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