A combination of bungling on the part of Rep. Salapuddin and a switcheroo no one can quite explain attempted by Rep. Jaraula, derailed the Charter Change express in the wee hours of the morning. But this news item gives us a good idea of the legislative strategy of the majority:
…Cagayan de Oro Representative Constantino Jauraula tried to introduce House Resolution 1230 proposing specific amendments to the Constitution by way of a constituent assembly.
HR1230 has been pending for plenary action since September 18.
Camarines Sur Representative Luis Villafuerte, an administration ally, admitted that the majority bloc was also surprised by Jaraula’s move since what they had earlier agreed upon was to push for HR 1450.
But opposition members questioned Jaraula’s resolution especially when he started reading the whereas provisions of an entirely new provision.
This prompted the House to suspend the session.
After a lull of almost an hour in the session, the House resumed with Nograles’s new proposal.
Nograles moved to refer HR1450 to the House committee on rules, which he also heads, to calendar it for plenary discussion later in the day.
But Minority Floor Leader Francis Escudero objected, saying that the referral was inappropriate because after the rules committee, it should be referred to the committee on constitutional amendments for deliberations.
But Nograles again invoked the just amended rules in the House, in particular section 105, which allows them to tackle a Charter change resolution directly on the floor without going through the normal process of committee hearings.
Speaker Jose de Venecia, who presided during the last few minutes of the session, ignored the minority’s call for adjournment, and instead suspended the session until 4 p.m.
Pride of authorship seems to have inspired Jaraula to deviate from the game plan. What was meant to provide a fait accompli while the nation slept, enters a second round with everyone wide awake -and opposition groups now have the opportunity to mobilize.
However, the importance of amending the rules so debate will be minimized, also became clearer. Submitting a resolution to a committee, any committee, could bog it down; and as Salapuddin’s bungling revealed, theirs is not for the congressmen to ask why, but rather, for them to charge ahead and bellow approval for anything proposed by the leadership. Meanwhile, the Senate is trying to creak along and craft a response while the Speaker tries to sandbag the Supreme Court. He also echoes the thinking of Alex Magno.
Part of the rush, to my mind, is meant to foil brewing discontent with the proposals in such places as Davao, because Federalism has been junked.
Vanity Fair does a profile of disgraced Rep. Mark Foley and his political backers.
In the punditocracy, my Arab News column for this week is Filipinos Can Tolerate Foreign Boorish Behavior But Not Abuse.
Bong Austero has his own take on the matter, focusing on the nature of rape.
Manuel Buencamino writes an open letter to Speaker de Venecia, proposing the abolition of the position of congressman and its replacement with single representation by a local government official for each province.
The blogosphere has some initial reactions to the conviction of a US Marine for rape. Reactions to the verdict ranges from comments on commentary, such as Philippine Commentary taking exception to the Inquirer editorial. Some were surprised at the verdict: see Torn & Frayed and Philippine Politics 04. So was caffeine sparks. who offers up a meditation on Rape, Hypermasculinity and Philippine-American Relations.
Comments on the House goings-on, ranging from dismay expressed by chizjarkace and pinay woes and ; Archbishop Lagdameo naturally appeals for prayer; debatista, however, is impatient with what he considers artificial nit-picking over the Constitution’s provisions.
Mongster’s Nest brings up an interesting point: with the Left gearing up to invade Cebu City, they will lack “warm bodies” with which to infiltrate the House.
Iloilo City Boy on the President’s visit to his city and political developments there.