Sa botong 224-22-3, the House of Representatives approved last December 11, during its 3rd and final reading, the resolution “that seeks to shift the Philippines to a federal system of government.” Ang nasabing proposed Revision of the 1987 Constitution ay kilala bilang Resolution of Both Houses number 15 o RBH 15.
Masasabi nating may pagka-ninja talaga itong si GMA.
Mabilis at walang ingay niyang nailusot sa committee level ang RBH 15 noong Oktubre ng nakaraang taon. Noong December 3, after only three days of plenary deliberation, debates were terminated. Ito ay sa kabila ng malinaw at malakas na pagtutol at protesta ng ating mga kababayan sa nasabing proposed constitution. (According to a June 2018 Pulse Asia survey, 67% ng ating populasyon ang hindi sumusuporta sa charter change, habang 62% naman ang hindi pabor sa shift to a federal form of government.) Also, the passage of the resolution after the third reading happened only eight days after it was approved on second reading. 8 days?!!! Nakulayan din ng kontrobersya ang hasty passage ng RBH 15 nang na-expose sa ating lahat ang bilyon-bilyong pork barrel insertions sa proposed 2019 national budget kung saan mga kaalyado ni GMA ang lumalabas na may malaking pakinabang. Hindi maiiwasang isipin na ginamit ang pork barrel to “bribe” the Congressmen para suportahan ang RBH 15.
Under RBH 15, which was authored by no other than our honorable House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and filed with 35 other lawmakers, ay matatagpuan ang mga sumusunod na probisyon:
- The Vice President shall be excluded from the line of succession during the transition period. So, kapag may masamang nangyari kay Duterte habang Pangulo pa siya ng bansa, hindi si VP Leni ang papalit sa kanya, kundi ang Senate President who happens to be Tito Sotto. Juicecolored!
- The term limits for the members of Congress shall be removed. Under the present Constitution, a Senator can only sit for two consecutive 6-year terms, while a member of the Lower House is limited to three consecutive 3-year terms. Ang ninjang si Arroyo, na dating naka-wheelchair at naka-neck brace pa, is a third-termer lawmaker. So, siya ang unang makikinabang sa probisyong “unli” terms of office na ito. Ang saya-saya, di ba?
- This resolution does not have any provisions on the regulation of political dynasties, unlike the Con-Com draft. So, pwede na talagang magpakalunod sa kapangyarihan ang ating mga politiko pati na rin ang kanilang mga anak, mga anak ng kanilang mga anak, at mga anak ng mga anak ng kanilang mga anak. Hindi kaya sila lugi rito?
- Likewise, it does not have any provisions on the holding of elections in May 2019 because, under the new constitution, the first election shall be held on the second Monday of May in 2022. Meaning, mai-extend ang term ng lahat ng incumbent officials dahil kanselado ang darating na mid-term elections. Ngayon, mas malinaw na ba kung bakit talagang ni-railroad nila ang pagpasa ng RBH 15?
- We shall have a presidential-bicameral-federal form of government, wherein the President and Vice President are to be elected at large. Both should come from the same political party, and a vote for the Pres. is a vote for the Vice Pres. So, kung may natipuhan tayong presidential candidate na relatively ay matino but who happens to have a running mate na chaka kagaya halimbawa ni Pacquiao, wala tayong choice if we vote for him kundi ang tanggapin ang kanyang VP. Buy one, take one lang ang peg!
- Industries shall be opened up to foreign ownership. Dahil sa pag-insert nila ng phrase na “unless otherwise provided by law,” ang mga foreign investors ay posible nang magmay-ari ng ating mga lupain at iba pang natural resources, mga educational institutions, public utilities, media entities, at iba pa. Pwede na tayong maging alipin ng mga dayuhan sa ating sariling bayan!
- The Speaker of the House, instead of the Senate President, shall be the ex-officio chairman of the Commission on Appointments. Nakukulangan pa si GMA sa kapangyarihang hawak niya bilang House Speaker. Kailangang mapasakanya pa rin ang makapangyarihang komisyon na ito. Speaking of the insatiable appetite for power!
This resolution has already been transmitted to the Senate for its own deliberations. Kailangan nating maging alerto at mapagbantay. Ipinakita na ng mga Kongresista ang kanilang tahasang pagkalulong sa kapangyarihan. Shamelessly! They want charter change for no other reason but to advance their self-interests. ‘Yun lang at wala nang iba.
Ngayon, tingnan natin how our Senators will fare.
Narito ang explanation ni Cong. Kit Belmonte sa kanyang NO vote to Cha-cha. Sana, lahat ng politiko ay kagaya niya.
Atty. Kit Belmonte votes NO to Cha-cha
EXPLANATION OF VOTE
Madame Speaker, my colleagues: Magandang hapon po. As representative of the Sixth District of Quezon City, I vote NO to RBH 15.
The House of Representatives is the primary institution that ensures that in the enactment of national measures enshrine the interest of each and every Filipino. We in Congress are the representatives of our constituents. Our constituents deserve no less: we have to make sure that their interest is guarded with every legislation that is sought to be passed in this august chamber.
RBH 15 as we see it now is so different from the drafts discussed in committee. It was even recommitted to the Committee on Constitutional Amendments for the failure to include the Vice President in the line of succession. Despite clear objections to the proposed constitution, debates were terminated on December 3, 2018, after only three session days of debate.
Three days to debate a measure to change our constitution, ladies and gentlemen. For a resolution that seeks to change the very character of our nation and the fundamental workings of our government, it is a disservice to our constituents. Three session days: there WILL be questions that WILL be unanswered.
Hawiin natin ang usapan mula sa pulitika pabalik sa mga katanungang bumabagabag sa mga ordinaryong Pilipino—mataas na presyo ng bilihin, kawalan ng trabaho, karahasan laban sa mahihirap. At a time when poverty and powerlessness prevail over our citizens, hindi ba dapat sa kanila nakatuon ang ating pansin at kung papaano natin mabibigyan ng solusyon ang kanilang mga suliranin?
Change is a double-edged sword. Tinkering with our constitution all in the name of supposed “change”, and forcing such change despite the absence of any clamor, and only for personal gain will not in any way contribute to the strengthening of our nation.
Tanggal and term limits, Burado ang anti – dynasty provision. Para kanino ba talaga ang Cha-Chang ito?
In behalf of the constituents of the 6th District of Quezon City, I vote NO to RBH 15.
Sen. Pilo Hilbay on RBH 15:
List of major constitutional changes under RBH 15:
The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) on RBH 15: