Monday, January 09, 2006

Just Say No

The question in the essay part of the 2005 LAE, was whether the presidential or the parliamentary system would be better for the country. I wrote that we are not fit to have a parliamentary system of government, given the level of political maturity (immaturity?) of the Filipino. The parliamentary system presumes the existence of a strong party system; our party system is to the word "strong" as the COMELEC is to the word "competent." Our legislators switch parties as often as they do underwear. On this count alone, one should already be impelled to vote NO to any proposed change in the Constitution.

But no, the so-called Consultative Commission had to give us folks more nightmares. They want to hoist upon the people a conditional bill of rights. Of course, they don't call it as such, but what do you make of a provision stating

"No law shall be passed abridging the responsible exercise of the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press...."

The rules of statutory construction mandate that every word must be given effect. So, what the ConCom is saying is that, you can speak freely, as long as it's exercised responsibly. WTF?

But wait, there's more. They are also proposing that term limits on elective officials be lifted altogether. They also want to do away with the provision banning political dynasties. If these folks would have their way, we better be prepared to see the same family names in the rolls of Congress for the next 100 years.

Or until they decide to change the Constitution again, which I assume will happen sooner than later.