NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR CHA-CHA
Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Laws, pronounced today that a Charter Change will not address the current political crisis that the country is facing.
“Now is not the right time for Cha-cha. The President must face the music. She cannot dance her way out of this crisis,” Gordon stressed.
According to Gordon, who was the youngest delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, “there is a need to change how the Philippine government works. But if we do so right in the middle of this crisis, how can we properly discuss all the complex issues in a few months? If we do so, we will only have another half-baked constitution that does not truly address what our country wants and needs.”
He added, “The 1987 Constitution was rushed in a few months, and because it was written in a time of crisis, many of its provisions were just reactions to the abuses of the Marcos regime.”
Among the provisions that should be reviewed in the 1987 Constitution is the term of office of local government executives. Gordon said, “we gave our local officials just three year terms because we were afraid of Marcos’ twenty-year rule. Now do you wonder why many of our local officials have no long-term vision for developing their towns or provinces, and all they can manage are a few waiting sheds? Hindi pa mainit ang upuan, tinitira na sila dahil mag-eeleksyon na.”
Gordon said the real and immediate cause of PGMA’s crisis now is not the Constitution, but the schemes of some sectors in society trying to seize power through unconstitutional means.
“Our constitution needs change, but it cannot be changed when people are trying to capitalize on partisan political hysteria to promote themselves in the public eye. This is a period of political opportunism. Already people have gone back on their word, changing positions on the issues, to capitalize on opportunities and make backroom deals when the facts have not changed. The public must be critical in determining what the real issues are and what their politicians are trying to achieve,” Gordon said.
Gordon reiterated his call to the nation to resolve the current political predicament through the mechanisms provided in the present Constitution and urged the President to call a special session of Congress within 10 days to give the opposition the opportunity to prepare and file the complaint that they want, and begin impeachment proceedings.
“Only by going through the correct processes can we as a people resolve this crisis once and for all. Otherwise, if PGMA is forced to resign, we will now have both Arroyo and Estrada claiming to be President, when another person is sitting in Malacañang. Ultimately, this will only increase the instability of our country, and bring it further to collapse,” Gordon said.