Why I am against playing with Charter Change

Yesterday, renewed calls for Charter Change came once more into the foreground of our national discourse. No less than a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is spearheading this new thrust. And Deputy Spokesperson Abigail Valte’s response was beautifully praised, “democracy is already in the recovery room as of May 2010.”

To be honest, I have always been for some change in the charter. I personally find it too wordy that even the most common of us can’t understand. Our most basic law should be something each Filipino could readily understand. It should be simple. It should be filled with wisdom. It should be timeless.

The Charter has flaws and this is recognized by both sides. It is common ground for those both and for and against dabbling with the nation’s basic law.

In recent years, I have been against charter change because one could never trust the powers that be to change it for the greater good, much less have faith that it is the future we safeguard. That tomorrow promises something better.

It isn’t that I do not trust Aquino to write a better charter than his mother; it is that I do not believe we have wisdom enough as a people to do a better job.

This is my second reason. I never really believed that our nation has exhausted the possibilities of the current Constitution. For one thing, a provision of the 1987 Constitution remain unused. The Freedom of Information Act was promised to us, and yet more than 20 years after EDSA, its future remain bleak.

Then there is this.

People believe that by changing the national charter, the fundamental problems of our nation are swept aside. It will still take years to feel the effects, good or bad. Charter change today for example, does not answer the much needed reform in our Education system. That is primarily a function of the department of education, and of experts in the field. Teachers will not magically be smarter; their salaries will not suddenly improve.

Charter change does not magically create more money for the government to use in social services. The poorest of the poor will still have the same health care coverage. There will still be children walking our streets at night. There will still be drugs and crime. In the farthest regions of our nation, bandits will still roam to terrorize the population.

Charter change does not make our police more competent. It does not make them less corrupt. It does not improve their capability to fight crime. It does not make people trust our police. That’s the job of the national police commission, the PNP command, and the Interior department.

Charter change does not change the fact our justice system is flawed. It does not make accusations that our judges sell cases more truthful or less true. And if they are on the take, how does it help change the system?

Some people believe that changing the charter to remove the economic limitations of ownership to be a step in the right direction. As a believer in the Free Market, yes, I agree there should be as few rules and that government should be limited to acting as a referee in the marketplace.

Yet, fundamentally, there is no stopping our current framework to reduce protectionism. The recent debacle of broadband use is an example. There is no basic policy. There are no basic rules set to ensure that telecoms are in their best behavior that consumers are protected.

A third reason that no matter what words we put into the basic law, at the end of the day, it is people who will govern and live in our country. It is we the people who will elect the same congressmen, and the same senators, simply because the bench is that shallow. It matters even less that that bench is shallow, except that it is the those who govern who must govern properly and in the interest of the nation.

There is hardly any difference between a party-list congressman and a regular congressman. They can both be overwhelmed with power; they can both abuse their power.

Bocchi in his work called the “Puzzle of the Philippines,” highlighted that our nation is a low capital investment one. The same fundamental problem exist in our political parties.

At the end of the day really, the answers to our nation’s problems is how to unlock incapacity. We have the tools today to do so. Our constitution does not forbid better training of our national police. It does not prevent us from enacting a better basic education policy. It does not prevent us from creating a nation where healthcare is free. It does not prevent us from creating a silicon valley.

Changing the charter does not make our people less fearful about tomorrow. It does not prevent legislators to view tomorrow shortsightedly. It does not make our religious wiser and less conservative. What it does, is to distract the Nation and the People from the change what we can do today. That change, I believe in the long run can do more to help bring our people out of poverty.

My point is: there are a lot of changes we can make to reduce incapacity in our country. There is a degree of change within the present framework we can enact that makes the world less unequal, more stable, and increasingly sustainable. We are not powerless to do so. And when we have created a more stable environment, with our leaders and our people filled with a little more wisdom, and a bit more responsible, perhaps then, we can begin talking about rewriting our charter to institutionalize what our nation has become, and what our nation hopes to achieve.

Cocoy Dayao

Cocoy is the Chief Technology Officer of Lab Rats Technica, a Digital Consulting company that specialises in DevOps, iOS, and Web Apps, E-Commerce sites, Cybersecurity and Social Media consulting. He is a technology enthusiast, political junkie and social observer who enjoys a good cup of coffee, comic books, and tweets as @cocoy on twitter.

Cocoy is also the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the ProPinoy Project.

Cocoy considers himself to be Liberal.

  • Bert

    Friends and countrymen,

    Having heard everything said and done, this debate on whether there is a present and urgent need for Charter Change can be settled with one very simple logical statement: A dog tagged with a new collar is still the same dog.

    Simple, ‘di ba?

    Either we change the dog, or, we teach the same dog some useful lessons, that it better serves its master’s best interests.

    Changing the dog is a very complicated matter. Is there an assurance, a guarantee, that a new dog will serve its master’s best interests? No guarantee, period! Therefore, advocating for a change of the charter, a new collar, is an exercise in futility.

    End of the story.

  • Bert

    Friends and countrymen,

    Having heard everything said and done, this debate on whether there is a present and urgent need for Charter Change can be settled with one very simple logical statement: A dog tagged with a new collar is still the same dog.

    Simple, ‘di ba?

    Either we change the dog, or, we teach the same dog some useful lessons, that it better serves its master’s best interests.

    Changing the dog is a very complicated matter. Is there an assurance, a guarantee, that a new dog will serve its master’s best interests? No guarantee, period! Therefore, advocating for a change of the charter, a new collar, is an exercise in futility.

    End of the story.

  • GabbyD

    @cocoy

    ok. lets ground this discussion:

    1)
    you say:
    “Do i want a more free market place? yes.

    Do we have a free market now? Yes. People can start businesses anytime they want. There are Filipino startups, doing software, apps and the like. The economic provisions created by the present charter hasn’t snuffed out investment.”

    hhmmm….. u keep mentioning that there is a LACK of investment (that WB study). ano ba tlga? kulang o hindi?

    second, u said that u want a more free market place, and AT THE SAME TIME say we dont need a free market place.

    is it me, or is this confusing? i guess you have 2 think about this — WHY do you want a more free market place if u dont need it?

    2)

    you say:
    “If you think things through, the same politicians will still be elected in a post cha-cha world. it doesn’t really solve our problem of a shallow bench, does it? ”

    this is infact the bone of contention! you cant assume this — you have to argue that this is true/likely.

    3)

    you say:

    “It isn’t an indictment of the wisdom of Filipino society. Not at all. I think when you ask our people, they don’t know either if they want to or not. A case needs to be made for what changes need to happen. ”

    YES! the process of talking about charter change requires an exchange of arguments. IF you believe that its not needed, the discussion should REVEAL THAT.

    as informed people, we shouldnt snuff out discussion, or downplay it by saying its “playing”.

    if you believe that Charter change wont help, then you should feel confident about philippine institutions will reject it.

    UNLESS, you dont believe in the wisdom of filipinos. but u claim u do believe in her wisdom… what WHAT are we afraid of?

    • cocoy

      GabbyD,

      1. Free Market.
      Yes, we have a free market. Anyone can start a business. Is there sufficient competition in the marketplace? Smart, Globe, etc., for example are offering the same banana with slight variations of the theme. They don’t seem to be interested in competition. Ergo, there isn’t reinvestment. It is a “low capital” marketplace.

      2. You’re saying that by switching to say, a parliamentary form of government, we get new blood into the system that we have better policies.

      I disagree with this assertion. Take a look at the existing system. It is a closed one. There are two ways to get elected: Either you are a pedigree or you are from the entertainment industry. Both requirement isn’t indicative of course you get elected. There are numerous examples of pedigrees not wining or entertainers having a poor showing. But there is no mechanism of a true political party. None of them are elected for their stance. No one is penalized whether they voted for a particular bill in a certain way. You can not ask the people to not to vote for an incumbent because he voted against the RH bill for example.

      There is no penalty.

      There is no way to institutionalize political parties. Parties that vote, nurture, candidates. There is no ideology. Parties are just for show and don’t really exist.

      A shift to the parliamentary form of government does not change that fact. It does not improve the quality or level of intelligence in the legislature.

      3. The problem i have with people who are for Charter Change is that generally speaking– the argument is summed up as, “charter change = magic bullet.”

      You for example assert that Charter Change = removing the economic provisions. While it annoys me to no end to have that economic provision there, I say that’s not enough justification to effect charter change. The expense, the time and the effort to call for a convention to do is no joke.

      I don’t think people who are PRO Charter Change realize that while our system is flawed, doesn’t recognize that NO system is perfect. That there are trade offs.

      I think the pro charter change people don’t realize what the shape, the depth, and the breath, of the world they want to create.

      Some assert that switching to a Parliamentary form of government is the magic bullet to make government write laws better.

      I think you forget that we have had a parliament— in 1973. A lot of good that has done us. There are good parliaments around the world, and there are also rotten ones trapped in bureaucracy.

      Pro Charter Change people also tend to forget that there is corruption in parliaments. Just look at Europe, and Canada. Bureaucracy exist everywhere and to say that switching to a parliamentary form is the magic bullet that will make life better for everyone is a FALSE gospel.

      Any change we make in the charter will not be felt outright. The benefits will take years to take root. And right now, GIVEN the limited resources of the government, I would prefer PNoy to focus that resource to creating capacity.

      4. I can MAKE the argument of being pro charter change.

      I CAN argue both sides. I can argue that Charter Change IS good.

      a. a /simplification/ of the basic law for example, i believe should be in the cards. It is too wordy, too laced in what is called, “social justice.” The social justice is too socialist and not exactly filled with wisdom. Ergo, we have come to expect that social justice = entitlement.

      b. Rights and Responsibilities should be in the basic law. But I believe the educational provisions enshrined in current charter should be stripped off. It has no place there. It has a place in government policy, but not in the basic law.

      c. The basic law should only include what’s fundamental. What is it that WE the PEOPLE believe in?

      d. i believe it is HIGH time we switch to Federal. It isn’t a switch to parliamentary that we should focus on, but a switch to a Federal Government. I believe that that is a step in the right direction, long term-wise.

      5. Are people who are Pro Charter Change interested in REAL change, in creating opportunities for People, or for the status quo? I will be in favor of Charter Change if the change is all about creating capacity.

      6. This is why i say NO to charter change at this juncture. We can enact change in the lives of right now, with out all this talk about changing the charter. I believe the PRO charter change crowd has no convincing argument.

      7. In both sides of the equation, we don’t really know what the people want because the Pro people don’t know what they want to achieve, except to label it, “We want charter change. It is the magic bullet that will make you well off.”

      That’s not a convincing argument. There are no guarantees and to market it as the perfect solution, is being reckless. We should understand where it will all go and what we want our nation to become, and I fear that what the Pro People want is not the country that I, as a citizen wants for myself and for my countrymen.

      • Anonymous

        Some of the PRO-people want parliamentary (so the next president after Noynoy knows he can more swiftly get booted out of Malacanang if the high-cost fancy car he drives around is from a bribe or after a Garci-Garci-Garci is discovered).

        Some of the PRO-people wants to change the 1987 Constitution which allowed GMA to appoint so many Supreme Court justices. The PRO’s do not want Noynoy to have the GMA power, the pro-people do not want any president to be able to do what GMA was allowed to do by the Cory constitution.

        Some of the PRO-people want that the vice-president and President come from the same party (so Pilipinas plugs the gap where a Vice-President and her husband gets tempted to orchestrate a surge-the-gate power play).

        Some of the PRO-people want to strike out that non-implementable “anti-dynasty” phrase. (Okay, I made this up. Filipinos want that sentence even though it is not implementable.)

        Different folks, different strokes. Have I mentioned already that some PRO want the 60/40 removed because they want to open the gap where multinationals can return to Pilipinas and bring jobs?

        What is this sentence the PRO-people do not know what they want? Ellen Tordesillas would support a charter change that says explicitly that GMA can not orchestrate a charter-change. While Cocoy wants a charter change that prevents a charter change which does not guarantee that better congressmen/senators are chosen by the voters of Pilipinas. And benign0 and ManuelB both agree a charter change is needed so that only educated Filipinos can vote to prevent this phenomenon with bozos getting elected into the Senate or the lower house. By the way, what chacha think farmers of Hacienda Luisita want for charter-change? Don’t forget the farmers and the poor people, they are people too, you know and many of them (because of OFW money are less hungry and) are able to think things through!

        And soon… my fearless forecast…. some PRO will want Noynoy Aquino to have many more years in Malacanang so they can plug the gap where a President has to call for Con-Con or Con-Ass because she believes she deserves more years as Head of State. While Bongbong and Imelda would be okay with a charter-change so that Noynoy can not do a GMA with Noyinoy, even if there is a loud clamor from the people for him to do so, can not run for congressman or governor of Ilocos Norte when his presidency-term is up.

        Different folks…. different strokes.

        • GabbyD

          the point is, all arguments should be presented and argued.

          there are WRONG ARGUMENTS and RIGHT ONES. let us discern what those are.

      • GabbyD

        1) on FREE MARKET

        if you believe that there is LOW INVESTMENT and NO COMPETITION, then you should be in favor of opening up ownership requirements. what am i missing?

        2) actually, at this point, i’m not confident in saying anything about the switch to parliamentary…

        BUT my point is simple — LET THE DEBATE HAPPEN. PARTICIPATE.

        let the debate start on the internet.

        all your arguments are useful. but dont gainsay the debate, and call it “playing”. if you are right, it’ll be obvious.

        3) magic bullet? ok — i’ll bite. name any serious thinker who believes its a magic bullet. i dont even know WHAT YOU MEAN by magic bullet. this issue is such a complex thing that only an idiot would believe/say that.

        this is the time to let out arguments, for and against.

        as part of the blogosphere, u can participate in this, and you already are.

        if your ONLY ISSUE is that it isnt certain, then you have an issue with the nature of LIFE. NOTHING IS GUARANTEED! we have to work on it together. make improvements along the way.

        your last sentence is strange — you fear that the pro is not what you want for the country? how do you know what they want (other than your belief that they believe in “magic bullets”)? especially since you and they BOTH want to amend the constitution IN SOME WAY OR FORM.

  • GabbyD

    @cocoy

    ok. lets ground this discussion:

    1)
    you say:
    “Do i want a more free market place? yes.

    Do we have a free market now? Yes. People can start businesses anytime they want. There are Filipino startups, doing software, apps and the like. The economic provisions created by the present charter hasn’t snuffed out investment.”

    hhmmm….. u keep mentioning that there is a LACK of investment (that WB study). ano ba tlga? kulang o hindi?

    second, u said that u want a more free market place, and AT THE SAME TIME say we dont need a free market place.

    is it me, or is this confusing? i guess you have 2 think about this — WHY do you want a more free market place if u dont need it?

    2)

    you say:
    “If you think things through, the same politicians will still be elected in a post cha-cha world. it doesn’t really solve our problem of a shallow bench, does it? ”

    this is infact the bone of contention! you cant assume this — you have to argue that this is true/likely.

    3)

    you say:

    “It isn’t an indictment of the wisdom of Filipino society. Not at all. I think when you ask our people, they don’t know either if they want to or not. A case needs to be made for what changes need to happen. ”

    YES! the process of talking about charter change requires an exchange of arguments. IF you believe that its not needed, the discussion should REVEAL THAT.

    as informed people, we shouldnt snuff out discussion, or downplay it by saying its “playing”.

    if you believe that Charter change wont help, then you should feel confident about philippine institutions will reject it.

    UNLESS, you dont believe in the wisdom of filipinos. but u claim u do believe in her wisdom… what WHAT are we afraid of?

    • cocoy

      GabbyD,

      1. Free Market.
      Yes, we have a free market. Anyone can start a business. Is there sufficient competition in the marketplace? Smart, Globe, etc., for example are offering the same banana with slight variations of the theme. They don’t seem to be interested in competition. Ergo, there isn’t reinvestment. It is a “low capital” marketplace.

      2. You’re saying that by switching to say, a parliamentary form of government, we get new blood into the system that we have better policies.

      I disagree with this assertion. Take a look at the existing system. It is a closed one. There are two ways to get elected: Either you are a pedigree or you are from the entertainment industry. Both requirement isn’t indicative of course you get elected. There are numerous examples of pedigrees not wining or entertainers having a poor showing. But there is no mechanism of a true political party. None of them are elected for their stance. No one is penalized whether they voted for a particular bill in a certain way. You can not ask the people to not to vote for an incumbent because he voted against the RH bill for example.

      There is no penalty.

      There is no way to institutionalize political parties. Parties that vote, nurture, candidates. There is no ideology. Parties are just for show and don’t really exist.

      A shift to the parliamentary form of government does not change that fact. It does not improve the quality or level of intelligence in the legislature.

      3. The problem i have with people who are for Charter Change is that generally speaking– the argument is summed up as, “charter change = magic bullet.”

      You for example assert that Charter Change = removing the economic provisions. While it annoys me to no end to have that economic provision there, I say that’s not enough justification to effect charter change. The expense, the time and the effort to call for a convention to do is no joke.

      I don’t think people who are PRO Charter Change realize that while our system is flawed, doesn’t recognize that NO system is perfect. That there are trade offs.

      I think the pro charter change people don’t realize what the shape, the depth, and the breath, of the world they want to create.

      Some assert that switching to a Parliamentary form of government is the magic bullet to make government write laws better.

      I think you forget that we have had a parliament— in 1973. A lot of good that has done us. There are good parliaments around the world, and there are also rotten ones trapped in bureaucracy.

      Pro Charter Change people also tend to forget that there is corruption in parliaments. Just look at Europe, and Canada. Bureaucracy exist everywhere and to say that switching to a parliamentary form is the magic bullet that will make life better for everyone is a FALSE gospel.

      Any change we make in the charter will not be felt outright. The benefits will take years to take root. And right now, GIVEN the limited resources of the government, I would prefer PNoy to focus that resource to creating capacity.

      4. I can MAKE the argument of being pro charter change.

      I CAN argue both sides. I can argue that Charter Change IS good.

      a. a /simplification/ of the basic law for example, i believe should be in the cards. It is too wordy, too laced in what is called, “social justice.” The social justice is too socialist and not exactly filled with wisdom. Ergo, we have come to expect that social justice = entitlement.

      b. Rights and Responsibilities should be in the basic law. But I believe the educational provisions enshrined in current charter should be stripped off. It has no place there. It has a place in government policy, but not in the basic law.

      c. The basic law should only include what’s fundamental. What is it that WE the PEOPLE believe in?

      d. i believe it is HIGH time we switch to Federal. It isn’t a switch to parliamentary that we should focus on, but a switch to a Federal Government. I believe that that is a step in the right direction, long term-wise.

      5. Are people who are Pro Charter Change interested in REAL change, in creating opportunities for People, or for the status quo? I will be in favor of Charter Change if the change is all about creating capacity.

      6. This is why i say NO to charter change at this juncture. We can enact change in the lives of right now, with out all this talk about changing the charter. I believe the PRO charter change crowd has no convincing argument.

      7. In both sides of the equation, we don’t really know what the people want because the Pro people don’t know what they want to achieve, except to label it, “We want charter change. It is the magic bullet that will make you well off.”

      That’s not a convincing argument. There are no guarantees and to market it as the perfect solution, is being reckless. We should understand where it will all go and what we want our nation to become, and I fear that what the Pro People want is not the country that I, as a citizen wants for myself and for my countrymen.

      • Anonymous

        Some of the PRO-people want parliamentary.

        Some of the PRO-people want a system where Noynoy and the next president after him can not stack the Supreme Court.

        Some of the PRO-people want that the vice-president and President come from the same party.

        Some of the PRO-people want to strike out that non-implementable “anti-dynasty” phrase. (Okay, I made this up. Filipinos want that sentence even though it is not implementable.)

        And have I mentioned already that some PRO want the 60/40 removed?

        What is this sentencethe PRO-people do not know what they want?

        And soon… my fearless forecast…. some PRO will want Noynoy Aquino to have many more years in Malacanang.

        • GabbyD

          the point is, all arguments should be presented and argued.

          there are WRONG ARGUMENTS and RIGHT ONES. let us discern what those are.

      • GabbyD

        1) on FREE MARKET

        if you believe that there is LOW INVESTMENT and NO COMPETITION, then you should be in favor of opening up ownership requirements. what am i missing?

        2) actually, at this point, i’m not confident in saying anything about the switch to parliamentary…

        BUT my point is simple — LET THE DEBATE HAPPEN. PARTICIPATE.

        let the debate start on the internet.

        all your arguments are useful. but dont gainsay the debate, and call it “playing”. if you are right, it’ll be obvious.

        3) magic bullet? ok — i’ll bite. name any serious thinker who believes its a magic bullet. i dont even know WHAT YOU MEAN by magic bullet. this issue is such a complex thing that only an idiot would believe/say that.

        this is the time to let out arguments, for and against.

        as part of the blogosphere, u can participate in this, and you already are.

        if your ONLY ISSUE is that it isnt certain, then you have an issue with the nature of LIFE. NOTHING IS GUARANTEED! we have to work on it together. make improvements along the way.

        your last sentence is strange — you fear that the pro is not what you want for the country? how do you know what they want (other than your belief that they believe in “magic bullets”)? especially since you and they BOTH want to amend the constitution IN SOME WAY OR FORM.

  • Manuelbuencamino

    GabbyD and UP,

    I was being sarcastic.

    But I am against messing with the Constitution, Cocoy’s argument, that whatever ails the country can be fixed without touching the Constitution, is correct.

    As to who the people will elect to a con-con. Well I guess the quality of the Senate is a good indication of what to expect. The votes will be based on name recognition and money because that’s what candidates will run on.

    There will be no issues except between candidates who will run as advocates of either a parliamentary or presidential system and the smart candidate will not commit himself to either because doing so would mean the losing votes of either side. So the smart position will be, “I have an open mindl I will study the matter, listen to the debates and the decide.”

    Besides systems of government are not subjects discussed by everyone everyday and a 90 day campaign period will not be enough time to learn.

    Finally there is really no popular clamor for chacha except from Gloria Arroyo and her friends. I have no doubt that a public clamor can be manufavtured with the right amount of money and publicity but that would be right.

    Change the charter when the public says that it and not the crooks in government is the cause of our problems.

  • Manuelbuencamino

    GabbyD and UP,

    I was being sarcastic.

    But I am against messing with the Constitution, Cocoy’s argument, that whatever ails the country can be fixed without touching the Constitution, is correct.

    As to who the people will elect to a con-con. Well I guess the quality of the Senate is a good indication of what to expect. The votes will be based on name recognition and money because that’s what candidates will run on.

    There will be no issues except between candidates who will run as advocates of either a parliamentary or presidential system and the smart candidate will not commit himself to either because doing so would mean the losing votes of either side. So the smart position will be, “I have an open mindl I will study the matter, listen to the debates and the decide.”

    Besides systems of government are not subjects discussed by everyone everyday and a 90 day campaign period will not be enough time to learn.

    Finally there is really no popular clamor for chacha except from Gloria Arroyo and her friends. I have no doubt that a public clamor can be manufavtured with the right amount of money and publicity but that would be right.

    Change the charter when the public says that it and not the crooks in government is the cause of our problems.

  • Manuelbuencamino

    GabbyD and UP,

    I was being sarcastic.

    But I am against messing with the Constitution, Cocoy’s argument, that whatever ails the country can be fixed without touching the Constitution, is correct.

    As to who the people will elect to a con-con. Well I guess the quality of the Senate is a good indication of what to expect. The votes will be based on name recognition and money because that’s what candidates will run on.

    There will be no issues except between candidates who will run as advocates of either a parliamentary or presidential system and the smart candidate will not commit himself to either because doing so would mean the losing votes of either side. So the smart position will be, “I have an open mindl I will study the matter, listen to the debates and the decide.”

    Besides systems of government are not subjects discussed by everyone everyday and a 90 day campaign period will not be enough time to learn.

    Finally there is really no popular clamor for chacha except from Gloria Arroyo and her friends. I have no doubt that a public clamor can be manufavtured with the right amount of money and publicity but that would be right.

    Change the charter when the public says that it and not the crooks in government is the cause of our problems.

  • Manuelbuencamino

    GabbyD and UP,

    I was being sarcastic.

    But I am against messing with the Constitution, Cocoy’s argument, that whatever ails the country can be fixed without touching the Constitution, is correct.

    As to who the people will elect to a con-con. Well I guess the quality of the Senate is a good indication of what to expect. The votes will be based on name recognition and money because that’s what candidates will run on.

    There will be no issues except between candidates who will run as advocates of either a parliamentary or presidential system and the smart candidate will not commit himself to either because doing so would mean the losing votes of either side. So the smart position will be, “I have an open mindl I will study the matter, listen to the debates and the decide.”

    Besides systems of government are not subjects discussed by everyone everyday and a 90 day campaign period will not be enough time to learn.

    Finally there is really no popular clamor for chacha except from Gloria Arroyo and her friends. I have no doubt that a public clamor can be manufavtured with the right amount of money and publicity but that would be right.

    Change the charter when the public says that it and not the crooks in government is the cause of our problems.

  • Societyofhonor

    Interesting perspective. I agree. Indeed, to some extent, the agitation for charter change is an exercise in finding excuses for poor performance, when it is not the Constitution that is limiting performance, it is the people who fail to uphold the law and spirit of the existing document.

  • Societyofhonor

    Interesting perspective. I agree. Indeed, to some extent, the agitation for charter change is an exercise in finding excuses for poor performance, when it is not the Constitution that is limiting performance, it is the people who fail to uphold the law and spirit of the existing document.

  • Manuelbuencamino

    Charter change? Sure except I don’t believe in a constitutional commission because its members will be appointees. And I don’t believe in constituent assembly because I don’t trust the members of Congress. And I’m against constitutional convention because I don’t have any faith that the people who elected our Congress will be able to choose delegates wisely. So what method is left? Sure I’m for charter change as soon as I find an acceptable way of doing it.

    • Anonymous

      You(ManuelB) would be good for one vote, so your opinion counts for so much. Same As CJ Puno — good for one vote.

      But Persidente has a lot more clout, and I don’t understand PersiNoynoy talking from both sides of his mouth. What I mean is that he says “.. 1987 Constitution is A-okay, changes not necessary” from one side while from the other side harrumphing that surely, it is unconstitutional for GMA to select a Chief Justice so late in her term and, (just days ago) he complains about the judiciary being a roadblock to him being able to do what he believes he has been elected to do.

      • Manuelbuencamino

        UP,

        PNoy complained about individuals in the judicial system who are obstructing his anti-corruption campaign. He was not complaining about the institution. You see there’s a difference between complaining about individuals in an institution and complaining against the institution itself. Thus, he cannot possibly be talking from both sides of his mouth when he says the Constitution is fine but some members of the judiciary are a pain in the butt.

    • GabbyD

      wow, this is sad. if we are paralyzed to do the things we feel are right, then we really are in trouble.

      • cocoy

        It isn’t the right time, GabbyD.

        As a people, we’re not ready.

        Very easy to write a constitution. Anyone can do it. It is the wisdom inherent in it that’s important. what does it say about us?

        • GabbyD

          when will we be ready? according to MB, he cant think of a way to move forward. therefore, we will never be ready.

          i thought this is PROpinoy. this is the sort of thing ANTIpinoy would write.

          • Bert

            This is ProPinoy, GabbyD, your comparison is unfair.

            Go to the anti-pinoy site again and you’ll find all of them are advocate of Charter Change, maybe one reason why they call themselves the anti-pinoy…they’re just that.

            The Filipino nation is ready to move forward, but Charter Change is not the answer.

          • GabbyD

            both cocoy and MB (this sites’ major contributors) dont believe in the capacity of the filipino people to decide whether or not the constitution will be changed, or in the ability of the able/capable members of filipino political institutions to come with a good method to change it.

            this is an indictment of the wisdom of filipino society. this is something i expect antipinoy would write. pro-pinoy? maybe not.

          • Anonymous

            Hacendero-talk.. “but the farmers, they just are not capable of deciding these things. We will do the deciding for these poor uneducated helpless peasants”

            What is disturbing (to me) is this. The most recent occasions Pilipinas Constitution was amended. After a revolution. And before that — when a dictator was dictating.

            Now Noynoy says that he will not run for president again after his term is over. [Somehow, I keep hearing the chant — NO, NO, NO!! We want Noynoy to stay!!! And I suspect that Noynoy will be convinced to answer the call (one more term!!!) from the madlang Makati-Business-Club (and 2015 Constitution gets ramrodded into reality).I’m making a joke. Or maybe I’m not making a joke.]

            But the country (in my opinion) needs a leader to prevent the powderkeg called poverty and malfeasance in Pilipinas to continue to boil where the next round of constitutional change is either by a dictator or after a coup d’etat.

            And I agree with GabbyD. Pilipinas 2011 citizenry has the maturity to orchestrate, lead, and follow where the 2012 (or 2013 Constitution) is quite reflective of better. Too bad Pilipinas 2011 does not have a leader in Malacanang who respects the citizenry maturity.

            Hacendero-talk.. “but the farmers, they just are not capable of deciding these things. We will do the deciding for these poor uneducated helpless peasants. Hindi pa panahon, marami pang kakaining bigas itong mga mahihirap na ito (lalo na hindi pa naisasara itong CARP land reform issue,heh heh heh).” Lucky that many more peasants-of-Pilipinas have money to buy bigas from the OFW-money now coming into their households.

          • Bert

            this is nitpicking now:

            To GabbyD:

            So what if MB or Cocoy do not believe the Filipino people want to change the constitution or not, or if the people want to decide or not? I’m sure the people can/will decide if it is necessary. It’s not. What’s anti-pinoy about that?

            MB is looking for an acceptable way, is that being anti-pinoy? Can you give him an acceptable way?

            Cocoy said, we, as a people, we are not ready yet for a change of the constitution. What’s anti-pinoy about that? I took that to mean that Charter Change is not necessary now but could be…in the future, when the people decides it’s the proper time for it. But that’s Cocoy’s opinion, and I agree with him.

            Nothing anti-pinoy.

          • cocoy

            GabbyD,

            My point has, and still is: Change/improving the lives of our people is not incumbent on changing the Charter. Change is not contingent on charter change. As I pointed out, getting a better police force doesn’t depend on cha-cha. having better education is not dependent on cha-cha. having pag-asa do better weather forecasting does not depend on cha-cha. it does not push bills like the RH bill into law; nor the FOI.

            Do i want a more free market place? yes.

            Do we have a free market now? Yes. People can start businesses anytime they want. There are Filipino startups, doing software, apps and the like. The economic provisions created by the present charter hasn’t snuffed out investment.

            If you think things through, the same politicians will still be elected in a post cha-cha world. it doesn’t really solve our problem of a shallow bench, does it?

            It isn’t an indictment of the wisdom of Filipino society. Not at all. I think when you ask our people, they don’t know either if they want to or not. A case needs to be made for what changes need to happen.

            When I wrote, “we’re not ready,” I meant, we should do it for the right reasons. As I wrote in the piece, “…we can begin talking about rewriting our charter to institutionalize what our nation has become, and what our nation hopes to achieve.

            I think that Charter Change at this juncture would be counter productive. We need to focus to set things right first. We need to win a few more battles. Some success from a PPP; some signal that basic education is on its way to success. We need to keep our eye on the ball. Let’s give first our people some comfort, if only a little. Then let’s build on that success.

            I’m not against charter change per se. I’m against doing it now.

            Why hurry?

            Is the country going to go away tomorrow if we don’t?

            Writing a Constitution is easy. So easy, I can write one right now. I’m sure you can too. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do so, but it does take a lot of wisdom to. And both will be reflective of who we are, and how we see the country is, and where it should be. But you know what? When we’re both done with it, people will still be poor. The police will still need training. Our military will still be the same. There will still be graft.

            Change is not dependent on Charter Charter.

            I would rather the country use the money they would need for charter change to spend it on real world results. I would rather have the President and his administration put forward what they promised during the campaign. If only 1/4 of it actually happens, I think they would have done something good. We would have at the very least six years to think about what we really want as a nation. Maybe then, we should ask our people if they would want charter change. And if the people agree, spend years figuring out what to change. For example, New Zealand spent years figuring out their charter before they finalized it.

            Why do we need to rush?

      • Manuelbuencamino

        No I am mot paralyzed to do the thing I feel is right. I’m acting to stop charter change. I want to prevent trouble.

  • Manuelbuencamino

    Charter change? Sure except I don’t believe in a constitutional commission because its members will be appointees. And I don’t believe in constituent assembly because I don’t trust the members of Congress. And I’m against constitutional convention because I don’t have any faith that the people who elected our Congress will be able to choose delegates wisely. So what method is left? Sure I’m for charter change as soon as I find an acceptable way of doing it.

    • Anonymous

      You(ManuelB) would be good for one vote, so your opinion counts for so much. Same As CJ Puno — good for one vote.

      But Persidente has a lot more clout, and I don’t understand PersiNoynoy talking from both sides of his mouth. What I mean is that he says “.. 1987 Constitution is A-okay, changes not necessary” from one side while from the other side (just days ago) he complains about the judiciary being a roadblock to him being able to do what he believes he has been elected to do.

      • Manuelbuencamino

        UP,

        PNoy complained about individuals in the judicial system who are obstructing his anti-corruption campaign. He was not complaining about the institution. You see there’s a difference between complaining about individuals in an institution and complaining against the institution itself. Thus, he cannot possibly be talking from both sides of his mouth when he says the Constitution is fine but some members of the judiciary are a pain in the butt.

    • GabbyD

      wow, this is sad. if we are paralyzed to do the things we feel are right, then we really are in trouble.

      • cocoy

        It isn’t the right time, GabbyD.

        As a people, we’re not ready.

        Very easy to write a constitution. Anyone can do it. It is the wisdom inherent in it that’s important. what does it say about us?

        • GabbyD

          when will we be ready? according to MB, he cant think of a way to move forward. therefore, we will never be ready.

          i thought this is PROpinoy. this is the sort of thing ANTIpinoy would write.

          • Bert

            This is ProPinoy, GabbyD, your comparison is unfair.

            Go to the anti-pinoy site again and you’ll find all of them are advocate of Charter Change, maybe one reason why they call themselves the anti-pinoy…they’re just that.

            The Filipino nation is ready to move forward, but Charter Change is not the answer.

          • GabbyD

            both cocoy and MB (this sites’ major contributors) dont believe in the capacity of the filipino people to decide whether or not the constitution will be changed, or in the ability of the able/capable members of filipino political institutions to come with a good method to change it.

            this is an indictment of the wisdom of filipino society. this is something i expect antipinoy would write. pro-pinoy? maybe not.

          • Anonymous

            Hacendero-talk.. “but the farmers, they just are not capable of deciding these things. We will do the deciding for these poor uneducated helpless peasants”

            What is distrubing (to me) is this. The most recent occasions Pilipinas Constitution was amended. After a revolution. And before that — when a dictator was dictating.

            Now Noynoy says that he will not run for president again after his term is over. [Somehow, I keep hearing the chant — NO, NO, NO!! We want Noynoy to stay!!! And maybe Noynoy again answers the call of the madlang Makati-Business-Club (and 2015 Constitution gets ramrodded into reality). I’m making a joke. Or maybe I’m not making a joke.]

            But the country (in my opinion) needs a leader to prevent the powderkeg called poverty and malfeasance in Pilipinas to continue to boil where the next round of constitutional change is either by a dictator or after a coup d’etat.

            And I agree with GabbyD. Pilipinas citizenry have the maturity to orchestrate, lead, and follow where the 2012 (or 2013 Constitution) is quite reflective of better.

          • Bert

            this is nitpicking now:

            To GabbyD:

            So what if MB or Cocoy do not believe the Filipino people want to change the constitution or not, or if the people want to decide or not? I’m sure the people can/will decide if it is necessary. It’s not. What’s anti-pinoy about that?

            MB is looking for an acceptable way, is that being anti-pinoy? Can you give him an acceptable way?

            Cocoy said, we, as a people, we are not ready yet for a change of the constitution. What’s anti-pinoy about that? I took that to mean that Charter Change is not necessary now but could be…in the future, when the people decides it’s the proper time for it. But that’s Cocoy’s opinion, and I agree with him.

            Nothing anti-pinoy.

          • cocoy

            GabbyD,

            My point has, and still is: Change/improving the lives of our people is not incumbent on changing the Charter. Change is not contingent on charter change. As I pointed out, getting a better police force doesn’t depend on cha-cha. having better education is not dependent on cha-cha. having pag-asa do better weather forecasting does not depend on cha-cha. it does not push bills like the RH bill into law; nor the FOI.

            Do i want a more free market place? yes.

            Do we have a free market now? Yes. People can start businesses anytime they want. There are Filipino startups, doing software, apps and the like. The economic provisions created by the present charter hasn’t snuffed out investment.

            If you think things through, the same politicians will still be elected in a post cha-cha world. it doesn’t really solve our problem of a shallow bench, does it?

            It isn’t an indictment of the wisdom of Filipino society. Not at all. I think when you ask our people, they don’t know either if they want to or not. A case needs to be made for what changes need to happen.

            When I wrote, “we’re not ready,” I meant, we should do it for the right reasons. As I wrote in the piece, “…we can begin talking about rewriting our charter to institutionalize what our nation has become, and what our nation hopes to achieve.

            I think that Charter Change at this juncture would be counter productive. We need to focus to set things right first. We need to win a few more battles. Some success from a PPP; some signal that basic education is on its way to success. We need to keep our eye on the ball. Let’s give first our people some comfort, if only a little. Then let’s build on that success.

            I’m not against charter change per se. I’m against doing it now.

            Why hurry?

            Is the country going to go away tomorrow if we don’t?

            Writing a Constitution is easy. So easy, I can write one right now. I’m sure you can too. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do so, but it does take a lot of wisdom to. And both will be reflective of who we are, and how we see the country is, and where it should be. But you know what? When we’re both done with it, people will still be poor. The police will still need training. Our military will still be the same. There will still be graft.

            Change is not dependent on Charter Charter.

            I would rather the country use the money they would need for charter change to spend it on real world results. I would rather have the President and his administration put forward what they promised during the campaign. If only 1/4 of it actually happens, I think they would have done something good. We would have at the very least six years to think about what we really want as a nation. Maybe then, we should ask our people if they would want charter change. And if the people agree, spend years figuring out what to change. For example, New Zealand spent years figuring out their charter before they finalized it.

            Why do we need to rush?

      • Manuelbuencamino

        No I am mot paralyzed to do the thing I feel is right. I’m acting to stop charter change. I want to prevent trouble.

  • Lead Philippines

    How about electoral reforms? Is it not of urgent importance?

    • cocoy

      i strongly believe that the first electoral reform that must be enacted is a reformation of the political party. It can only be done by the very politicians serving right now. There should be elections and active membership in the parties. If parties only exist in name, and only during elections, we can never have better leaders because what happens is that we’re electing an aristocracy. What’s happening is that we have a shallow bench.

      That said, our people seem to be weary of new comers. People who ran for Senator won because of name recognition. So does it mean that the new candidates didn’t have the qualifications or that people preferred names they were familiar with and could trust?

      The case study of Risa Hontiveros and TG Guingona for example is important. What made one win, and the other almost win? The defeat of Ocampo and Masa are sterling examples of our people’s rejection of the left.

      If we did have charter change, what will make the dynamic different? How then will we have fresh blood into the system, and not a virtual elected aristocracy?

    • Bert

      The answer is no!

      Just remove the Abaloses, the Garcillanos, the Esperons, and their ilks and the COMELEC will be okay.

  • Lead Philippines

    How about electoral reforms? Is it not of urgent importance?

    • cocoy

      i strongly believe that the first electoral reform that must be enacted is a reformation of the political party. It can only be done by the very politicians serving right now. There should be elections and active membership in the parties. If parties only exist in name, and only during elections, we can never have better leaders because what happens is that we’re electing an aristocracy. What’s happening is that we have a shallow bench.

      That said, our people seem to be weary of new comers. People who ran for Senator won because of name recognition. So does it mean that the new candidates didn’t have the qualifications or that people preferred names they were familiar with and could trust?

      The case study of Risa Hontiveros and TG Guingona for example is important. What made one win, and the other almost win? The defeat of Ocampo and Masa are sterling examples of our people’s rejection of the left.

      If we did have charter change, what will make the dynamic different? How then will we have fresh blood into the system, and not a virtual elected aristocracy?

    • Bert

      The answer is no!

      Just remove the Abaloses, the Garcillanos, the Esperons, and their ilks and the COMELEC will be okay.

  • GabbyD

    “Some people believe that changing the charter to remove the economic limitations of ownership to be a step in the right direction. As a believer in the Free Market, yes, I agree there should be as few rules and that government should be limited to acting as a referee in the marketplace. #

    Yet, fundamentally, there is no stopping our current framework to reduce protectionism.”

    huh? this doesnt make sense cocoy.

    within the fundamental framework IS a limit to foreign ownership. without charter change, this fundamental roadblock will remain.

    either you are in favor of it, or you arent. which is it?

    • cocoy

      GabbyD,

      1. I agree that there are fundamental flaws in the charter like economic provisions. i didn’t mention it but i strongly disagree on the phrasing of the social justice clauses of the constitution. too socialist for my taste.

      2. I disagree that today or tomorrow or the next year is the right time to change the charter.

      3. I believe that there is room in the current framework for change to happen. Improving Education isn’t subjected to whether or not we have charter change, and is in fact something the current administration is tackling.

      Training the police does not require charter change.

      hell, imposing or not imposing telecom rules can be done by the NTC as we’ve seen in the whole Broadband issue.

      Improvements in the lives of people can be done right now, with in the present framework. There is room to grow.

      see my last three paragraphs.

  • GabbyD

    “Some people believe that changing the charter to remove the economic limitations of ownership to be a step in the right direction. As a believer in the Free Market, yes, I agree there should be as few rules and that government should be limited to acting as a referee in the marketplace. #

    Yet, fundamentally, there is no stopping our current framework to reduce protectionism.”

    huh? this doesnt make sense cocoy.

    within the fundamental framework IS a limit to foreign ownership. without charter change, this fundamental roadblock will remain.

    either you are in favor of it, or you arent. which is it?

    • cocoy

      GabbyD,

      1. I agree that there are fundamental flaws in the charter like economic provisions. i didn’t mention it but i strongly disagree on the phrasing of the social justice clauses of the constitution. too socialist for my taste.

      2. I disagree that today or tomorrow or the next year is the right time to change the charter.

      3. I believe that there is room in the current framework for change to happen. Improving Education isn’t subjected to whether or not we have charter change, and is in fact something the current administration is tackling.

      Training the police does not require charter change.

      hell, imposing or not imposing telecom rules can be done by the NTC as we’ve seen in the whole Broadband issue.

      Improvements in the lives of people can be done right now, with in the present framework. There is room to grow.

      see my last three paragraphs.

  • Bert

    In other words, it’s going to be the same dog. Charter Change, Collar Change, WTF, ahay, hehehe.

    • Anonymous

      I think President Nooynoy is actually saying that he likes today to be the future.

      Or probably this — that Noynoy wants to enjoy the same powers that GMA had in her days, including being able to appoint as many supreme court justices as she was able to. CJ Puno in his speech said:
      “the Constitution should be amended to prevent its packing by any President and thus, avoid the perception that courts are mere instruments and extensions of partisan politics. Again, we cannot afford a Judiciary with a cracked confidence.”.
      ———————
      Without a doubt, if above gets implemented in a 2012 constitution, then PresNoynoy loses some powers. But the next constitution is not supposed to be for PresiNoynoy’s benefit.

      If only folks get to understand this — Noynoy having an easier time to wield more power is NOT the objective of the next constitution.

  • Bert

    In other words, it’s going to be the same dog. Charter Change, Collar Change, WTF, ahay, hehehe.

    • Anonymous

      I think President Nooynoy is actually saying that he likes today to be the future.

      Or probably this — that Noynoy wants to enjoy the same powers that GMA had in her days, including being able to appoint as many supreme court justices as she was able to. CJ Puno in his speech said:
      “the Constitution should be amended to prevent its packing by any President and thus, avoid the perception that courts are mere instruments and extensions of partisan politics. Again, we cannot afford a Judiciary with a cracked confidence.”.
      ———————
      Without a doubt, if above gets implemented in a 2012 constitution, then PresNoynoy loses some powers. But the next constitution is not supposed to be for PresiNoynoy’s benefit.

      If only folks get to understand this — Noynoy having an easier time to wield more power is NOT the objective of the next constitution.