Nograles, Coup-Me and the cha-cha backdoor

April 21, 2009 § Leave a comment

While most of us huddle in our tambayans, speculating on what really happened to Trina Etong, a group of politicians are busy trying to invent ways on how to circumvent the Constitution and for what? Speaker Prospero Nograles’ group is trying to “test the waters” so to speak so that his proposal to allow foreign ownership of Philippine lands pass Congressional scrutiny. Nograles wants to include a proviso in his proposal by delimiting the coverage of the change in the charter “by just this one—change in the economic provisions”. And he wants his theory tested by allowing his detractors to file a Constitutional question before the Supreme Court, confident that, in the end, it would be the “kampihan” (camaraderie)  that would prevail instead of plain and simple, katarungan (justice).

It is an elementary principle in Constitutional Law that any change in the charter shall only be done in either a Constitutional convention or a Constituent Assembly. Changes cannot be piecemeal and deemed enacted by legislative or executive fiat. It must undergo a process whereby all members of Congress (both the Senate and the Lower House, voting separately) are involved. As contemplated by the Constitutionalists, the House will gather its votes and decide, while at the same time, the Senate votes as a collegial body. If the measure passes in the House but is rejected by the Senate, then, it not deemed enacted. Rather, it would be brought back to the House and the same procedure happens again.

It would be easier if Congress allows a Constitutional Convention, which, by the lack of time, is impossible to happen if the desire is simply to extend the term of Mrs. Arroyo.

Nograles just wants to use the back door in order to complete his mission for the Arroyos. He knows that his neck is on the line on this one and he does’nt want to disappoint his benefactor, Mike and his son, Mikey Arroyo. It’s quite obvious though that he’ll fail since majority of the LAKAS-CMD and some members of the KAMPI disagree with efforts to amend the charter at this time. In fact, LAKAS-CMD spokesman Juan Miguel Zubiri and even Presidential Political Adviser Gabriel Claudio have been telling Nograles and his cohorts to abandon charter change and concentrate on fortifying the administration block to prevent an expected Opposition win in 2010.

With so little time left, Nograles has no other option but to force the issue down our very throats. He’ll proceed by testing the waters and armed with 187 votes, he’ll try to ram his ridiculous suggestion and then, throw the ball to the Supreme Court. That’s a shrewed way of telling Malacanang that he’s like Pontius Pilate, washing his filthy hands and distancing himself from the unpopular decision.

And Nograles and his ilk might simply succeed in their tug of war. Otherwise, if all stops are lifted, Arroyo’s devilish clan, especially those hawks in the palace, might simply proceed with their Plan B, which is subject the entire country under martial law thru a “God Save the Dirty Queen.”


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