Say YES to charter change (Cha-Cha) but after 2010 elections. Yes to Cha-Cha but it must not be through Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) but through Constitutional Convention (Con-Con).
The desire to change the constitution is not new nor unique to the Arroyo administration.
During the Ramos administration, there was attempts to amend the constitution. It the movement was resurrected with different approach during the short-lived Estrada administration.
When President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo reign in Malacanang, there were several administration-sponsored attempts for Cha-Cha but none got popular support.
Several months ago, the opposition-led Philippine Senate initiated to change the 1987 Philippine Constitution, specifically to give way for federal system. But the plan was later shelved.
Recently, when pro-administration dominated House of Representatives renew the plan to change the constitution through constituent assembly (converting the congress into constituent assembly), people began to suspect.
The suspicion is reasonable. The initiative came after the controversial prayer of Press Secretary Jesus Dureza which suggest about extension of terms of President Arroyo.
Now, common conclusions say that the recent attempt to change the constitution is directed to extend the Arroyo presidency. This angered many sectors including the the 2010 presidential aspirants.
The so called big rally in Makati against Cha-Cha illustrated that the Filipino people are against with the move (because of the suspicion).
In today’s headline of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Catholic Bishops urge the proponents of Cha-Cha to shelve the plan and do it after 2010.
I agree with the Bishops. Let us talk about amendments of the constitution after 2010.
Just for today, it better that we focus on how we face the challand effects of global financial crisis.