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Dec 07

Steamrolling to victory

House Resolution 1450 was adopted at around 5 in the morning, without amendments. The House of Representatives will therefore send notice to the Senate, and convene as a constituent assembly on Monday at 10 am. Debates on proposals to amend the Constitution will begin then. Newsbreak has an exclusive report on the concrete form the proposals will take. All sides expect the issues to be joined at the Supreme Court soon. The Senate has decided to decline participation. And the parliament of the streets may just reconvene.

As was widely expected, Reynato Puno is the new Chief Justice.

My column for today is Nocturnal deliberations. In his column, Alex Magno presses upon the brows of the majority a crown of genius.

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93 comments

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  1. anna de brux

    I am appalled, terriblgy disgusted.

    Well, it seems the maxism people deserve the government they elect is true!

  2. justice league

    MAnolo,

    One Voice has been silent up to now. What is the plan of action?

  3. sparks

    I remember Palace pekingese Alex Magno asking….

    Right on the mark you are.

    This will be an interesting Christmas. When we find ourselves on the streets, at least it won’t be sweltering hot. 🙂

  4. Paeng

    most definitive line kagabi, from representative Cagas:

    “You can shout there but you are not a member of the Congress.”

    Thank you, representative.

  5. Melandrew Velasco

    Dear Manolo,

    Once again, the Filipino people are robbed of their future by a bunch of comedians and opportunists who relish being called “The Honorables” and “The People’s Representatives.”
    The approval of House Resolution No. 1450 was not only forthcoming, but was expected from a rubber stamp House of Representatives whose favorite job is to protect “The Mole in the Palace.”
    The first time the Lower House delivered it to the Mole on a silver platter was in June 29, 2004 at the congressional canvassing for the presidential and vice presidential candidates. “Shut Up” and “No to the Opening of ERs” sealed the phyric victory of GMA over the late Fernando Poe Jr. In the wee hours of the morning, she was declared the “duly elected” President of the Philippines to rule until 2010.
    The 2004 Grand Conspiracy that denied FPJ his rightful claim to the presidency has all but the stolen the “soul of the nation.” As we all exclaim Vox Populi, Vox Dei, the people’s sovereign will expressed through the ballot is God’s voice and supreme will.
    The masterminds, having tasted ‘victory,’ have become “decent assasins” (remember your column masterpiece “Assasination with a Smile”) who now feel and act as ‘invincibles” over all of us ordinary mortals in the Philippines.
    Call it “Aura of Invincibility,” this has become the mindset of the administration people – who having committed the ultimate crime in our nation’s history i.e., stealing the people’s votes and the nation’s soul, they have conditioned themsleves that they can do everything, anything under the sun in this country.
    Silence the Opposition. Eliminate the Leftists. Charge Enemies in courts and BIR. Neutralize the institutions. Deal or buy off leaders in the Church, the media, the Courts and business and civic leaders.Kill the Impeachments proceedings, not only once but twice.
    And here we are again, all stuck and dancing to the beat of Cha-Cha through the unpalatable, unconstitutional, very indecent and very immoral Con-Ass delivered anew by the Lower House. Unfortunately, Con-Ass was authored and driven by the country’s quintessential tradpol, the all weather Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. He must be grinning from ear to ear right now, with his lifetime quest to become the country’s first Prime Minister now within reach.
    So what’s in store for all of us in the next few days and months? Well, you have laid down the possible scenarios.
    Yes you’re right, it’s about time to reconvene the Parliament of the Streets.
    The late Teodoro Benigno, in his columns before he passed away, always asked about the whereabouts of patriotic and sovereign Filipinos to rise up and be counted. At one point, he even chided his countrymen of their seeming apathy and indifference.
    “Rage, rage, rage..this is sorely lacking among the youth and many Filipinos today,” wrote Benigno
    Benigno’s worst scenario is a bloody people’s revolt when everything else fails, when people have all but lost lost their faith in government and the institutions.
    The sad part, the country is back to the pre-martial law era politics and Marcosian ways of dealing with the administration’s enemies — all under the guise of democracy.
    Looking back at the July 8 event when the so-called Hyatt 10 to include former President Cory Aquino and Senate President Franklin Drlon called for GMA’s resignation, our country should have been spared all these troubles today.
    On one hand, the Opposition and the so-called Middle Forcers fell short of adopting the parchute formula of former President Fidel V. Ramos for GMA to step down in one year but to eventually push for Cha-Cha in the interim. To his great wisdom and wealth of experience, FVR thought it best to have a peaceful transition for our country. After being the Knight in Shining Armor for the Mole, FVR was eventually cut to pieces by his own partymates that all but brought back the power base to the tenant in Malacanang.
    For all of us seeking reforms and betterment in our society, we hope and pray that the Almighty through the intercession of Mother Mary will guide all of us, including the self-vested leaders and lawmakers, to see the light and serve not their personal interests but the people whom they vow to serve and serve well.
    But for all of us who believe in Divine justice and retribution and to the law of karma, every evil deeds and bad rulers have their bitter and bloody endings. If not with their own lives, it will manifests in their health and in their families.
    To all of us who continue to dream big dreams for our country and our children, it is our ardent wish that the good guys now come forward and that the people’s collective and sovereign will shall prevail.
    God bless the Philippines!

    Melandrew Velasco

  6. inidoro ni emilie

    forget civil society. the more potent force is the studentry. they should at the helm leading the parliamentary of the street.

  7. rego

    If only we can argue and debate without resorting to name calling and just stick to the issue……

    I believe Alex Magno has raised some valid points. And therefore should just be rebutted in a more objectieve way . There is really no need for a name calling ( besides it doesn’t acomplishe anything anyway other than distraction.

    Some of the points being raised by Alex are:

    1. The headline of one anti-administration paper Wednesday morning said it all: Velarde vows to stop Con-ass.

    The story referred to a statement from El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde with a vague promise to stop the majority effort. But what is his standing in this debate? He is not an elected representative. He is not a magistrate. He is not a properly designated policy-maker. He is not a constitutional lawyer.

    Are the defenders of the constitutional status quo down to seeking divine intervention of some sort to stop the will of the majority of representatives? That seems to be the subtext to this prominently bannered non-story.

    2.The fact is that, on the floor, the conservatives are not only outnumbered. They were confused. They were leaderless. They had none of the articulate expertise of people on the majority side like Luis Villafuerte, Simeon Datumanong, Constantino Jaraula, Arthur Defensor and Edcel Lagman.

    3.the changes passed by overwhelming majority vote Tuesday night might appear innocuous. It removes the requirement to go through committee hearings and three readings of a bill before it becomes law since, in the discharge of its duties as a constituent body, the House is performing something other than routine legislation.

    There is enough merit to that seemingly innocuous amendment to the rules. It removes potential roadblocks that the pathetic minority might try to set up to frustrate a forthcoming resolution calling for a joint session to consider proposed amendments to the Charter.

    4. The Constitution requires that the House inform the Senate of its desire to call a joint session three days before the actual date of that proposed session. The Senate may decline from participating in such a joint session – but that would be a breach of inter-chamber courtesy. Besides, there is nothing in the law that provides for the absence of one chamber from a joint session.

    In a word, there is no precedent to preventing a joint session where one chamber could not muster enough attendees. All the law requires is three days’ notice that such a session will be held.

    5. The die-hard enemies of constitutional reform will, obviously, try to seek a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court to prevent Congress from convening in joint session. But on what basis may the Court intervene in an internal matter concerning one branch of government?

    6.I listened to the opposition congressmen explain their votes. One representative from Bayan Muna said that if the move is not stopped the economy will be opened up to foreigners. How far could one be from the debate at hand.

    7. The most frequent argument offered by dissenters was that it was not “popular.” But that is a non-argument. In any political system, the task of political leadership is to lead – rather than be led by commonplace opinion.

    8. If we continue listening to nonsense masquerading as coherent counter-argument, we will never get around to improving our constitutional framework and thus suffer the consequences of a deficient political order. Audacity is needed to cut through the conservative fog.

    Also in another column of the same paper, Billy Esposo was pointing out that” all surveys” has been conistently showing 67% of the people are against charter change.

    So I believe however the majority congressmen manipulated the charter change, still there is the 67% that will disapprove it in the plebicite anyway… Their conduct in the past two days is only exposing what ever “evil stench ” they have and it is good for the people to to know them .

    Now the opposition has a very good rallying point to gather millions and millions of warm bodies to defeat such “disgusting” acts by majority congressmen. I just hope they dont bungle it this time….

  8. rina

    the scary thing about this is that there are probably some among these congressmen who genuinely think that they’re doing something for the country’s good. they’ve been into manipulations and political posturings for so long that they already believe their own lies

    of course, there are also some who are just plain walanghiya

  9. james

    one voice is silent because it has no vision or plan at all.
    Magno says it succintly. why should the minority cry foul everytime they are outvoted? that is how democracy works.
    cbcp? they are one reason for the backwardness of this country.

  10. watchful eye

    “Lintek,” sabi ni JDV, “puede naman pala ang simple majority eh kung bakit di inisip agad ng mga torpeng ito, tuloy ang payout ko ay para sa 195 congressman. Gaaaaaad!”

  11. cynical

    Where is the public outrage?!

  12. watchful eye

    Sus si Alex Magno yata ang gumawa ng Rules of the Constituent Assembly. Strategy kuno. Note what the proposed Rules says:

    RULE I
    CONSTITUENT POWER
    Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, the Constitution may be proposed by the Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members.

    Section 2. A constituent assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution may be called by three-fourths of all Members of Congress in a resolution adopted for this purpose.

    3/4 of tongressman is 195, di ba, eh .. 171 lang raw ang sumipot (kulang yata ang iniabot) kaya sabi ni Luis Villafuerte “simple majority” na lang . Saka na lang ang 3/4. haha si Alex talaga may mga strategy pamandiy paltos naman.

    Wala daw standing si Mike Velarde na makidebate kasi hindi “elected representative.” Si Congressman Magno namam, nagsalita. Ikaw ba Alex ay magistrate at elected man din at nakikidebate ka rin? haha.

    Ngayon, tawag ni Alex sa minority as “conservatives”. Colonial talaga ang tuktok nitong si Magno. Porke kuno “audacious” na ngayon ang House majority biglang naging radical at Leftist ang mga pobreng kampon ni de Venecia. Akala ko ba ay Poli Sci professor itong si Alex.

    The “bizarre Supreme Court ruling striking down the people’s initiative,” sabi ni Alex, was decided “for reasons other than matters of law”? Ok the dismissal of the two impeachments against Ate Glo was done as a matter of law, was not bizzare and not by sheer force numerical arrogance? Pathetic.

    Alex claims: “The Constitution requires that the House inform the Senate of its desire to call a joint session three days before the actual date of that proposed session. The Senate may decline from participating in such a joint session – but that would be a breach of inter-chamber courtesy. Besides, there is nothing in the law that provides for the absence of one chamber from a joint session.”

    Hahaha .. masama pa ngayon ang Senado. “Breach of inter-chamber courtesy” kung tatanggihan ng Senado ang alok for a joint masturbation. Magaling na intellectual itong si Magno. Teka, di ba ang talagang pinaguusapan ay “voting separately” hindi “joint session.” Mahirap bang intindihin yan?

  13. marichulambino

    Group Text: An urgent request and plea:

    Does anyone have a copy of the Dec. 4 draft constitution (I read the summary from the Newsbreak link in this blog). If you have a copy, please post it. In the secret draft, the President nominates the interim prime minister, then Noli de Castro presides over the interim parliament who will vote the interim prime minister. (note that this is not really a vote because she nominates only one; and it doesn’t say the nominee has to be from parliament. In other words….it can be her.)
    Please post a copy if you have one. Thanks.

  14. inidoro ni emilie

    di ba si alex magno yong pakialamero at usisero sa dating abs-cbn political satire na “abangan ang susunod na kabanata” ? nagtatanong lang po.

  15. justice league

    Rego,

    Velarde need only to be a taxpayer to bring a “taxpayers’ suit” against the House move.

  16. justice league

    THis endeavour will devour not the Representatives’ money. It will devour ours. To embark on this kind of move that Magno implies to be not popular is a height of stupidity even for him and his allies.

    In the end it will go down to what is POPULAR.

    Because it is supposed to be decided by POPULAR VOTE!!! Unless of course Magno has other things in mind.

    MABUTI SANA KUNG PERA NILA UUBUSIN NILA!!!

  17. Jher

    I used to say deadma to the actions of these clowns in congress. but now i’m really scared of what will happen. they should all burn in hell… well the railroaders i mean.

  18. watchful eye

    Sus si Alex magno yata ang gumawa ng Rules of the Constituent Assembly. Strategy kuno. Note what the proposed Rules provided:

    RULE I
    CONSTITUENT POWER

    Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, the Constitution may be proposed by the Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members.

    Section 2. A constituent assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution may be called by three-fourths of all Members of Congress in a resolution adopted for this purpose.

    3/4 of all the members of Congress is 195, di ba, eh .. 171 lang raw ang sumipot (kulang yata ang iniabot) kaya sabi ni Luis Villafuerte “simple majority” na lang puede nang mag-constitute ng Senate-less Constituent Assembly. Saka na ang 3/4. haha si Alex talaga may mga strategy pamandin’y paltos naman.

    Wala daw standing si Mike Velarde na makidebate kasi hindi “elected representative.” Si Congressman Magno namam, nagsalita. Ikaw ba Alex ay magistrate at elected man din at nakikidebate ka rin? haha.

    Ngayon, tawag ni Alex sa minority as “conservatives”. Colonial talaga ang tuktok nitong si Magno. Porke kuno “audacious” na ngayon ang House majority biglang naging radical at leftist ang mga pobreng kampon ni de Venecia. Akala ko ba ay Poli Sci professor itong si Alex.

    Eto pa. The “bizarre Supreme Court ruling striking down the people’s initiative,” sabi ni Alex, was decided “for reasons other than matters of law”? Ok the dismissal of the two impeachments against Ate Glo was done as a matter of law, was not bizzare and not by sheer force numerical arrogance? Pathetic.

    Alex claims: “The Constitution requires that the House inform the Senate of its desire to call a joint session three days before the actual date of that proposed session. The Senate may decline from participating in such a joint session but that would be a breach of inter-chamber courtesy. Besides, there is nothing in the law that provides for the absence of one chamber from a joint session.”

    Hahaha .. masama pa ngayon ang Senado. “Breach of inter-chamber courtesy” kung tatanggihan ng Senado ang alok for a joint masturbation. Magaling na intellectual itong si Magno. Teka, di ba ang talagang pinaguusapan ay “voting separately” hindi “joint session.” Mahirap bang intindihin yan?

  19. cvj

    The Members of the House felt empowered (as visibly exemplified by Cagas’ behavior) because the people have largely remained silent in the face of such impunity. Aside from the usual motley group of the B&W Movement, the gallery was largely empty of concerned citizens. At this point, it is the conspirators who are staying awake longer.

  20. Bokyo

    If this is the way our parliament will be as what they are proposing, much more if these are the same people who will be on it, I must say they are selling it badly.
    Even in resolving problems or issues by numbers, there must be a genuine show of respect and attempting to win the other side by persuasive or authoritative explanations and debates, in the end although it ends up resolving it by voting everybody is gentleman enough to accept their collective decision.

  21. paeng

    ipaliwanag niyo nga sa akin yung isang issue kagabi na nakakasakit ng ulo.

    inamend yung rule 105, which pertains to proposals to amend the constitution, para yung mga proposal na ito ay hindi na dadaan sa usual na process na pinagdadaanan ng isang bill.

    yung House resolution kagabi to convene a con-ass ay hindi na raw dadaan sa proseso na pinagdadaanan ng isang bill kasi proposal daw ito to amend the constitution. so section 105 ang applicable.

    ngayon, for proposals to amend the constitution, section 104 ang nag-aapply pagdating sa voting. kaya 3/4 vote ang kailangan.

    pero sabi ng majority, hindi daw 3/4 ang kailangan, simple majority lang daw, kasi yung resolution kagabi ay hindi naman daw proposal to amend the constitution kundi proposal pa lang leading to the amendment of the constitution.

    so yung House Resolution, proposal siya to amend the constitution, kaya rule 105 ang applicable kaya di na dadaan sa normal na proseso na dinadaanan ng bill. pero at the same time, yung resolution ay hindi proposal to amend the constitution, kaya hindi naga-apply ang rule 104 at majority vote na lang ang kailangan.

    na-gets niyo ba?

    ako hindi.

  22. Bokyo

    What I am really praying and hoping is that the day or time comes sooner that these people will be put to shame for what they are or have been doing.

  23. leah

    Velarde’s party has 2 seats in the house, who will no longer support this nonsense. getting 195 is not easy, and losing even 2 has to hurt

  24. stuart-santiago

    re the new chief justice reynato puno. how is he related, is he related, to anc’s puno and the local government’s puno? thanks.

  25. Shaman of Malilipot

    Paeng, don’t bother to understand the arguments of those majority clowns in the House. They no longer care whether their arguments and/or actions are logical, legal, or moral. All they care about is that they get what they want. If a rule blocks them from getting what they want, they simply change that rule, as they did the other night. This kind of unscrupulously criminal mindset is what scares me most. If and when a parliamentary system is put in place (God and the Filipino people forbid!) with these same clowns as MPs, they can do anything and everything they want to do, absolutely. With both executive and legislative powers in their hands, they will have absolute power. If they want to do something that’s against the law, all they have to do is amend or change that law. And if the law is unconstitutional, all they have to do is convene themselves into a constituent assembly and amend the constitution. They have done it before, they can do it again and again. And they will.

  26. cvj

    Paeng, I agree with Shaman. Teddy Boy Locsin of the administration also pointed out the need for 3/4’s majority even to pass the resolution. The inconsistency in treatment was raised by the Opposition reps during the proceedings, but the presiding speaker ruled in favor of voting for the passage of the resolution in via a simple majority. Of course, upon appeal to the floor, the majority reps mindlessly affirmed the ruling.

    It is clear that the majority in the House is just making things up as they go along with expediency as the main guideline. They are teaching the people at large, the wrong lessons in democracy and since, in the larger context, these politicians are the ones who are actually in the minority, it is a lesson that will eventually turn around to bite them back.

  27. Jeg

    They are teaching the people at large, the wrong lessons in democracy…

    The people at large would learn that lesson if they were paying attention. However, most of them were watching the soap operas and Pinoy Dream Academy. 😀

    Although I am outraged by the brazenness, I am not worried. The argument by the majority is so illogical that the Supreme Court, if and when the case comes before them, would rule the move unconstitutional. Even the mother of all lobbies by the Admin’s people could not make them rule against logic.

  28. paeng

    ^ matagal ko na ngang gustong sitahin ang major networks diyan e. bakit nung Erap impeachment, live coverage? eto, wala. tingnan na lang natin reaction ng mga tao pag napanood nila yung nangyayari sa House. maging kasing-apathetic pa kaya sila?

    naalala ko tuloy may nakadebate ako dati. sabi niya hindi naman daw nire-railroad ang proceedings. tinanong ko kung napanood ba niya.

    hindi.

  29. Arbet

    Jeg, I will not be so sure about the SC. There’s Javellana v. Executive Secretary. Stranger things had happened; they can happen again.

  30. cvj

    Jeg, i hope your assessment pans out, but i’m not that sanguine. Even logic needs a constituency.

  31. Jeg

    Kaya ang gusto ko nga sanang paeng e buwagin na lang yung NBN e. Sayang lang pera natin dun. Tapos ipalit nila yung parang C-Span sa US. Non-profit tapos pinapakita ng live yung mga deliberations sa Senate at lower house.

  32. rg cruz

    hi manolo. just checking back with you guys. im kinda out of commission after i suffered a freak accident in legazpi city.
    its a bit deoressing since so many things are happenning

  33. DJB

    CVJ–

    Teddy Boy Locsin is refreshingly candid. He minced no words. He said the House can “unilaterally” propose amendments to or revision of the Constitution. But he wanted to do this with a three-fourths majority even to just to convene the Con-Ass.

    Yet, even if his view was adopted by the Majority and HR1450 had been passed by a vote of 195 Members, the result would be the same: a mere Act of the Lower House–House Resolution No. 1450–is UNILATERALLY calling the Congress to an assembly.

    But even if it is approved unanimously, a House Resolution cannot compel the Senate or any of its members to come attend it meeting. As such, the House cannot later mark as “absent” someone it cannot compel the attendance of. Teddy Boy cannot rescue the concept with his three fourths vote suggestion to convene because the assembly that they are convening cannot conduct a VOTE of ALL the Members of the Congress since a little less than 10% of those Members are not and cannot be a part of the House-called assembly.

    They’ve got the denominator of their fraction wrong. Their ‘Rithmetic is unconstitutional because they didn’t understand the Reading and Writing part.

    It’s a grave abuse of English Composition and Read Comprehension.

  34. Tony

    What if the Opposition candidates for the May2007 elections identify themselves immediately, and then start campaigning hard? The sight of “the other side’ campaigning should scare the railroaders/majority congressmen to leave Manila and the con-ass machinations to attend to campaigining in their home-provinces.

  35. cvj

    DJB, just so it’s clear to me, the point that you are making is that the unilateral act of the House is not valid because it requires the concurrence of both the House and the Senate to constitute an assembly that can be rightfully considered as ‘allHouse + Senate = Congress?

    That would then mean that the assembly that would convene on Monday is just the House plus individual Senators attending in their personal capacities which is not good enough since ‘House + individuals (who happen to be senators)’ is not equal to ‘all of Congress’?

  36. cvj

    apologies for the unclosed tags.

  37. watchful eye

    “If a rule blocks them from getting what they want, they simply change that rule, as they did the other night.” Shaman

    That’s a good one Shaman.

    How about this one. Say, ang sunod na laban ni Paquiao will be held in Congress (No live feed kasi nocturnal nga). The Central Bank can bet PI’s dollar reserve, for Manny of course, because the rules of the fight will shift according to Manny’s performance. Halimbawa, if the fight is going the distance and Manny is clearly losing on points, just extend the rounds hoping na makabawi si Manny. Pag minalas si Manny at na-KO ng kalaban. No prob. Just change the rules again by providing that the fighter who KOs his opponent is guilty of un-sportsmanship and therefore loses by default. Cool?

  38. DJB

    CVJ,

    In every Voting Democracy the principle of One Man One Vote is absolute. Every Member’s vote must be counted. Note that the resolution convening the Con-Ass is a HOUSE Resolution and no Senator may vote upon it. Therefore, whether one adopts the Villafuerte Simple Majority Rule of all Members present, or the Locsin Three Fourths Majority Rule to convene the Con-Ass, the 24 Senators cannot make a difference in the Vote. Therefore some Members of Congress are deprived of equal protection under one man one vote on question of whether to convene to exercise constituent power. Even if the vote should turn out that their small numbers did not make a difference, that cannot be presumed by the Rules, unless it wants to say that the result is plus or minus 24 votes. IN which case it would obviously violate one man one vote!

    Viewed yet another way, it is easy to forget that almost every official Act of the Congress is approved upon a simple majority vote of all its Members! Yet there is no confusion about it. The legislative power of the Congress is exercised by the Congress using a Simple Majority Rule. Or to put it so it sounds familiar to every body:

    Any Bill may be enacted into Law by the Congress, upon a simple majority of all its Members.

    The Constituent power is exercised using the Three Fourths Majority Rule found in the Constitution, but it is very clear, any amendment to or revision of the Constitution may be proposed by THE CONGRESS, upon a vote of three fourths of ALL its Members.

    Teddy Boy’s use of the word “unilateral” is an obvious acknowledgement that the House in Section 105 had previously believed in a “bilateral” procedure. Now they are “going it alone” even though they they used to be a couple.

    Well, tsk tsk. They can declare a separation by reason of temporary insanity due to fear of the 2007 elections. But sorry, divorce is illegal in the Philippines and all the Joint Checking Accounts still require the two authorized Signatures for any deposits and withdrawals, or amendments and revisions. And the Constitution gets to keep all the Kids. Next year, the Bums will have to sleep on the streets when we throw their impostor’s clothes and rotten ideas out.

  39. pedro

    while our athletes in Doha are trying their best to give honor to our country… our politicians are doing exactly the opposite…

  40. camry

    Kawawa talaga ang Pinoy. Filipino voters should blame themselves on what is going on in the House of Representatives. The 2004 elections might be fair, but issues on irregularities were not resolved. Cheaters are going step by step in taking away everything that Juan dela Cruz has. The administration party is like a well oiled machine.

  41. watchful eye

    Ok, even assuming that Magno’s radical House majority have the great good of the country in mind in defying settled constitutional practices, are we however hearing anything exciting, concrete and viable from them in terms of transforming the nation, say, during the first year of their rebel regime to justify resort to radicalism or the audacity of their acts?

    Kahit papano Marcos had started with a bang and real aplomb by teaching the Oligarchs some lessons to create his Bagong Lipunan. By the looks of it all, these BUMS don’t seem to have anything like that except for the desperation to stay in power longer than is lawfully necessary or bypassing the people’s will as a brazen scheme to attain the apogee of power. At di ba kapansinpansin that it doesn’t even matter to these usrpers whether they have amply demonstrated to the people their deeper understanding of the workings of the parliamentary system?

    Ok Alex, what is the exciting radical agenda for transformation that’s not conceivably doable under the present presidential unicameral setup, kung talagang paninindigan . . . if the will is there?

  42. baycas

    by amending Section 105, the HOR ALONE can adopt resolutions proposing amendments to or revision of the charter (doing away the bicameral nature of tackling proposals!).

    by approving HR 1450 (renamed HR 197), ALL members of the Congress are now called on to file resolutions proposing constitutional amendments or revisions – giving a semblance of a convened Congress despite the expected snob of members of the Senate. (definitely, this will NOT be a Congress assembled in joint session and as such will not amount to a Constituent Assembly, more so, will not produce an Act of Congress!)

    by adopting the published Rules of the Con-Ass, congressmen and/or senators will be made EQUALS not as legislators but as component elements of the constituent assembly – Rule I Constituent Power, Section 3…(emphasis on the word “OR” because, with the addition of the word, i gather that congressmen sans senators CAN already constitute a Con-Ass!)…thereby allowing even just 195 congressmen voting to propose amendments to or revisions of the charter. (this, in effect, will give you three-fourths of all the members of Congress!)

    f___ing neat, huh?

  43. anna de brux

    Baycas, sorry to disagree but the whole process is typical of this messy Congress that has a perverted agenda and if you ask me, it’s all too f___ing disorderly!

  44. ruben

    Ako manhid na sa actuations ng karamihan ng ating mga politiko, esp. those in congress. That’s why I’m not that surprised at all in the outcome of yesterday’s initial cha-cha express to con-ass.

    I’m sad and depressed though because I have to explain to people I deal and work with from outside the Phils. why the majority in our congress (lower house) is insisting on the “mathematical” majority of both houses of congress. I did a little research on the constitutional amendment process of other countries with a bicameral legislature like ours, and it is an international standard that a vote of the “majority of both houses” or “majority of all members of congress” (i.e., senate and lower house) means a MAJORITY OF EACH HOUSE – SA TAGALOG, HIWALAY NA BILANGAN SA BOTO ANG SENADO AT KONGRESO. Even the US Supreme Court has a decision that highlighted this issue way back 1798!! And this is the accepted interpretation not just in the US, but even in all countries with a bicameral parliament (e.g., UK, Germany).

    I’m still pinning my hope on our Supreme Court when this issue is placed upon them for their legal interpretation. For me, after my little research, the majority in congress and Malacanang are clearly motivated not by self-preservation but by pure and unadulterated “selfish interest”. If this deviation from internationally accepted legislative standard is unchecked by the Supreme Court, dagdag na naman sa kahihiyan natin ito bilang isang bansa… nakakalungkot…

  45. manuelbuencamino

    “Democracy is about way more than majority rule. Democracy is about minority rights, individual rights, restraints on power.” Bill Clinton, US President

  46. watchful eye

    I mean “presidential bicameral setup” in above post.

    Right you are Manuel, a democratic constitution is not so much about powers as LIMITATIONS of those powers. What’s happening is a classic illustration that the majority does not really need a constitution. The minority does.

  47. cvj

    DJB, thanks for the further explanation. With regard to your first paragraph, what i think the House will say is that the Senators voluntary disenfranchised themselves by rejecting the invitation that was extended to them. They can further argue that, assuming they gather 195 affirmative votes from the House of Representatives, the Senators’ votes would have been immaterial to the outcome. Lastly, if one or more Senators show up, they can further argue that the ‘Senate’ is actually present.

    That is why I am in total agreement with your points from the second paragraph onwards. The way i understand it is that the House (or the Senate) alone is not ‘Congress’. Just like Voltes V, they have to agree to come together (‘Let’s Volt in’ so to speak) in order to perform an act of Congress whether it’s enacting a bill or changing the Constitution. (If i’m not mistaken, baycas has made the same point in the 2nd paragraph of his comment at 12:22am.)

    Having a few Senators show up without a corresponding resolution on the part of the Senate as a body does not count. The House went to the trouble of passing a resolution in order to, among other things, invite the Senate. The Senate has to reciprocate by a resolution of its own either accepting or rejecting the invitation. If this were not the case, it would be possible for a bunch of 195 Congressmen and Senators to attend a Christmas party and change the constitution right then and there.

    In this regard, i am curious if there has already been a previous case where the House and Senate came together and voted on a matter jointly. If there was, the manner in which they have gone about this previous task may be used as a guide.

  48. vic

    During the first half of my life or a little less considering the part of growwing up, I witnessed the Bi-Cameral Presidential sytems of government at work in the Philippines setting. The later part (32 years) I participate in the Parliamentary system, Bi-Cameral, house of commons and Senate(senate with perfunctuary functions, non-elected members) at work in my adapted country. Between the two system, I can not for sure, on my own say,which one is better than the other. But given the people, the class, the type of politicians that I have seen in both systems, The Presidential System that is the current in the Philippines, will just work perfectly in Canadian settings, albeit we still have to have the Queen as the head of State. Switch the system, and God knows what will they come up with Next…

  49. cvj

    DJB, i re-read your first paragraph and just realized that you were discussing ‘one man one vote’ (and the Senators’ inability to vote) as it pertains to passing the House resolution 1450 (and not the proposed Constitutional amendments themselves), in which case, i agree 100% with your comment and believe that the logic of your argument is flawless.

  50. hvrds

    I am in my way to the sunny Caribbean to spend a month amongst the warm beaches In Mexico, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Cuba. It is high season and the most beautiful creaures ever that walked in one or two-piece outfits will grace these beaches.

    I do not think that this exercises will amount to anything as by the end of next week JDV will waive the white flag and get a promise of some sort for charter change.

    I thnik there will be a con-con and the Senate will be transformed to regional or provincial representation. There will be elections next year with the elections for a con -con.

    So far the only one who has shown cojones is GMA. Deliberately or not she has unleashed a small reign of terror and she still remains the center of the problem or solution.

    With her American supported palace guards she still rules the roost. The American Procurator in the Philippines will still back the ‘institutional’ leadership in the country.

    In spite of the platform no opposition figure – Roxas, Villar, Drillon or others have the cojones to offer a clear alternative. They want to play it safe. Too bad. History will pass these people by.

    GMA is being set up to be the savior. Just watch her turn around and slay the con-ass dragon.

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