By Erik Espina
Fissures on edified discourse of Charter change (Cha cha) have been overtaken by alliances of contrasting colors and clashing motives – ambition/vested interests – to railroad federalism and under Smartmatic?
President DU30, before a crowd of indigenous people in Davao, however, openly announced he would respect the will of the people, in case the proposed form of government is rejected. He warned of continued war in Southern Mindanao.
The political divide is identifiable under: 1) Fortuitous timing, tinkering the “best” Constitution. Poverty, hunger etc. cannot be solved by constitutional revision. Executive and Legislative action as better route to a more equitable and optimized sharing of funds and effecting local autonomy versus 2) Cha-cha and federalism having ripened due to an “Imperial Manila” and the real objective of BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) passing the litmus test of constitutionality. 3) Whether Constituent Assembly, Constitutional Convention, and People’s Initiative as best and safer approach to Cha-Cha. Each confronted with pressing resistance by advocates. The greatest obstacle is distrust.
The hijacking and foreseen “over-reaction” authoring a new charter subjected to highly politicized environs. The fourth operandi by history and extra-constitutional, a controversial declaration of “Revolutionary Government.” The fifth mode, I defer discussing another time.
In the tumult of conflicted proposals revising our social/political contract with government, I am pushing for limited amendments: 1) Return to the tried and tested four-year term of President/VP with one re-election; 2) Local officials and congressmen’s term of office shall be four years up to 12 years similar the total with senators; 3) Senate elections reverted to eight slots so it may continue conducting legislative business with a quorum. A tri-archipelagic Senate (Luz-Vi-Min) allocated eight each. Cyclical elections specific to a particular island grouping, the entire country still voting. Said amendments will pass common understanding and easy scrutiny of all concerned given equivalent political opportunities/reforms.