This time around, Rapid-fire will partially agree with Rep. Lagman in disagreeing with the sudden proposal of Senators Frank Drilon and Juan Ponce Enrile to amend the economic provisions of the present Constitution via this mestizo mode : a procedure akin to the passage of ordinary laws, i.e., with the two houses of congress treating and approving the pro-posed amendment SEPARATELY.
The only variation is that in the regular law-making process, the separately-approved measure is sent to the President for his approval. In the Drilon-Enrile plan, that measure has to be ratified by the people in a plebiscite.
The procedure proposed by Sens. Drilon and Enrile violates pertinent provisions on amendment of the 1987 Constitution, which provides for only three (3) alternative modes in its amendment, i.e., (a) by congress convening itself as a constituent assembly and approving/voting on the proposed amendment by three-fourths vote of all its members; (b) by a constitutional convention convened by congress; and (c) thru people’s initiative.
These two senators’ motive to amend the Charter’s economic provisions is suspect. Lest we forget, the current economic provisions in the Charter was impelled by the bitter lesson we learned with the implementation of the so-called Parity Amendment for more than a quarter of a century, under which Americans and corporations owned by them were given EQUAL rights with their Filipino counterparts in the dis-position, exploitation, development and utilization of our natural resources, as well as in the operation of public utilities in this country.
The Filipinos were always at a disadvantage because they could not match the capitalization and influence of the Americans. Soon, the Americans were little by little OWNING everything that was Filipino.
Had the Parity Amend-ment not been timely abrogated in 1974, we would have awakened one day as strangers in our homeland – such as Rizal feared!