As my Arab News column for this week, Amending the Constitution:Where Do Filipinos Stand?, points out, Survey shows thinning anti-charter change lead (story from Malaya). Malaya’s story puts forward interesting numbers:
48% of those surveyed are against charter change.
43% are in favor of charter change (up from 36% in October and 29% in March of last year).
9% are undecided, less than last year’s 16%
Of those in favor of changes:
27% say it will solve the political crisis
26% say it will push economic development and progress
24% say it will reduce politicking between the executive and legislative
11% say it will be easier to change an administration no longer trusted by the people
11% say many provisions need to be changed
Furthermore, with regards to those in favor of changes:
52% say President Arroyo is not the most acceptable person to lead the country, regardless of whether the Constitution is changed or not
Of those against changes:
17% are opposed because changing the government would not be enough unless politicians change
16% are opposed because they think charter change is just a ploy to divert attention from the political crisis faced by President Arroyo
13% are opposed because they think there is no need to change the Constitution at all
11% are opposed because they think that politicians want it because they want to be in power
Ã‚Â 9% are opposed because they think that the country is not ready for a parliamentary government
Ã‚Â 8% are opposed because they think it is a way to give Mrs. Arroyo a graceful exit
Furthermore, with regards to those against changes:
41% say President Arroyo is not the appropriate person to lead the country.
However, 66% of those surveyed have little (53%) to no knowledge at all (13%) of the Constitution. 34% say they have sufficient to a great deal of knowledge about the Charter.
The Daily Tribune is more blunt: Majority of Pinoys clueless on Charter-Pulse Asia
But the show must go on! Gov sees 12M signatures for Cha-cha (well, where they’re at is “within striking distance” of the 5 million signatures they need. After that, it’s on to our incredibly credible Comelec. Money is no object, as the Inquirer reports: Arroyo ally says there’s fund for Cha-cha.
The Manila Standard-Today reports, Initiative requires law, Comelec says. Also, Comelec split on Charter change: Legality of signature drive in question says the Inquirer, in a story contradicted by the Manila Times, which says Comelec nominee Romeo Brawner’s done a somersault: Brawner flops on people’s initiative. Before the Commission on Appointments, he said if a people’s initiative were to be filed before the Comelec, it should be dismissed. Then he changed his mind, and has now taken on a position in conformity with the Comelec Chairman’s. This suggests Malaya’s story, Cha-cha seen as dead, is also outdated, like the Inquirer’s. Incidentally, Newsstand, in his blog, thought that Brawner’s statement might give administration congressmen a pretext for rejecting him; or did Brawner independently realize what Newsstand did?
In other news: Rape trial moved to Makati. The March of Democracy continues: Mayor Bans Rallies During Arroyo’s Visit to Panabo City
The question of immigration reform has legal and illegal immigrants to the USA worried. The American media has been covering the issue, while the blog Ignatian Perspective has a pretty thorough discussion of the issue.
In the punditocracy, the Inquirer editorial says a Constitutional Convention is the rational choice.
Dan Mariano tackles the interesting history of one charter-change booster. Patricio Diaz takes a dim view of the whole people’s initiative effort. Amando Doronila suggests that the amendment debate, if framed in terms of a 2007 exit for the President, just might end the impasse.
Billy Esposo (who applies for bail today in the libel case filed by Atty. Mike Arroyo), explains how government advertising can be such a useful political carrot.
JB Baylon runs down the list of the President’s promises.
Mary Dejevsky dissects the Oraqng Revolution.
Ambeth Ocampo on Portuguese sardines that used to be canned especially for the Philippines (we’re an important market in all sorts of ways; someone told me recently the Philippines is the third-largest consumer of brandy in the world).
The blogosphere has Concerns of a Bystander using the Socratic method to examine questions used against people with particular political views like himself.
Sassy Lawyer puts forward the view that bloggers are a threat to journalists and so they’re lashing out at her.
Philippine Commentary and blog@AWBholdings both seem to have been bothered by the discussions between Atty. Edwin Lacierda and Solicitor-General Eduardo Nachura on ANC. The Solicitor-General seems too confident for comfort about the prospects of the Supreme Court upholding the ongoing “people’s initiative.”
My Liberal Times discusses what he considers conservative people power: pitting forces that view themselves as representing modernity against more traditional, populist, forces. caffeine sparks blogs on French barricade power.
Neoblogger covers city council proceedings in Vigan: the topic? An ordinance covering beerhouses and videoke bars.
Disini on why the National Telecommunications Commission is not the right forum for intellectual property rights complaints.
Unlawyer on politicians as product endorsers.
Pine for pine collates the literature on the ongoing debate on the next person to be proclaimed a National Artist for Literature.
Thanks to a comment he left on this blog, I found out that noted cartoonist Roby Villabona has a blog. I remember well one of his cartoons from the snap election era. He continues to comment on political events such as Dinky’s arrest, and the rumored assassination plot against the President.
Tristan Cafe tackles future presidents.