ConCom report:Lowest form of bribery
THE way it looks, the recommendations of the Consultative Commission on Charter change do not stand a chance in the Senate.
Administration Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments, also recalled the time he was a member of the commission that drafted the 1973 Charter.
He said Presidential Proclamation 1102, which embodied the draft Constitution, promised to make those who would approve it members of the Batasan.
But Marcos eventually abolished the Batasan. "Na-onse na kami, na-uto pa (We were not only gypped, but also made fools of)," Gordon said.
In Gordon's opinion, the ConCom's proposal is the "lowest form of bribery" to legislators.
"It's saying, 'We leaders are all protected. Let's just make fools of the people,'" he said. "The people will say, Binababoy ninyo (You're making a mess of) the Constitution for your personal interest."
He also said the situation would reflect badly on Ms Arroyo, Speaker Jose de Venecia and former President Fidel Ramos, who could be seen as the ones with vested interests behind the move.
According to Gordon, this was not the time to push for Charter change because of the "cloud of doubt" on the legitimacy of Ms Arroyo's presidency.
"This has become a moral issue because it seems we are being forced to change the Charter," Gordon said.
The Senate is not even keen on tackling the resolution earlier approved by the House calling on the two chambers to convene as a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 Charter.
The resolution was referred to Gordon's committee last week but the chamber adjourned for the Christmas break without the committee deliberating on it.
"The senators are not very interested in it," Gordon had said.
By Juliet Labog-Javellana, Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer