It is really disheartening and depressing to note that our congressional leaders are hoisting for the nth time the idea of changing parts of the l987 Constitution amidst the pandemic that has infected about half a million of our people and killed some 10,000.
Where is the sense of propriety, or even decency, of Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Speaker Alan Lord Velasco to entertain the idea of charter change at this time?
Of course, we know that these two leaders are getting the signal from somewhere else. But at least they could have reasoned that this is not the appropriate time to tinker with the charter when our people are not even sure of their own continued survival owing to the lack of the vaccine that resulted from lack of coordination, and perhaps will, among our officials in procuring the vaccines.
Even the reasons given by Sotto and Velasco for their initiative are flimsy and fallacious.
According to Velasco, what they intend to do is to change only the economic provisions of the constitution to expand the economy that has been battered by the virus. Velasco conveniently forgot that before the pandemic, the Philippines had the highest economic growth in the region, second only to China, under the same constitution. Allowing foreigners to own more than the 40 percent of their businesses here, which is provided for in the constitution, is a sure-fire formula for them to gobble up our economy and leave nothing to Filipinos. Is this what Velasco wants?
Sotto’s admission that the President wants constitutional amendments to remove the militant party-list groups suspected of being fronts of the communists is also shallow. As of now, what is preventing the government from filing charges against militant lawmakers if they have violated our laws, in particular the Anti-Terrorism Law? Why amend the constitution just to go after them?
We totally agree with Atty. Christian Monsod, one of the country’s top legal minds and one of the framers of the l987 Constitution, that there is nothing wrong with our basic law that has been in existence for the past 33 years, long before Sotto and Velasco have entered politics.
As the popular saying goes: “If ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And why don’t we just let sleeping dogs lie?