Saturday, November 12, 2005

Just try a little bit harder

There are two developing narratives in the Philippines that may turn out as a watershed, flowing either backward or forward, in the country’s juridical and political history.

One is the “trial” of the charges against President Arroyo before the Citizens’ Congress for Truth and Accountability, practically the same charges thrown out by the House of Representatives dominated by pro-Arroyo partisans during the attempt to impeach her a couple of months ago.

The other is a presidential project to tamper once more with the Constitution in a fundamental way, that is, to shift from the present presidential-bicameral-unitary system to potentially a parliamentary-unicameral-federal form, through a Consultative Commission (for constitutional revision).

The Citizens’ Congress and the Consultative Commission are first a study in contrast by the way they have come about.

The Citizens’ Congress, for instance, is an initiative of Bukluran para sa Katotohanan, a broad coalition (for truth) of disparate groups which include civil society organizations, religious groups, political parties and students and other movements. The commonality of the coalition efforts appears to have emerged rather autonomously through collaboration and cooperation for the purpose of investigating the dismissed impeachment accusations against the President.

On the other hand, the Consultative Commission has been created or mandated via Executive Order 453 promulgated by President Arroyo; the members of the Commission, while supposedly to “come from various sectors of society,” are widely perceived to just follow the President’s bidding already spelled out in the order (i.e., to shift to a new government structure as above indicated and to “refocus” and “review” economic policies in the Constitution with a view to “[matching] the country’s vision for global competitiveness”).

It may be worth mentioning at this point that the present Constitution was drafted by another commission whose memberships, a cross-sectional representation of the reformist and progressive segments of the Philippine society, were a closer mirror of Bukluran’s rather than of the Consultative Commission’s.

It is also interesting to note that Arroyo did not run during the presidential elections held last year on any program that committed to revise or change the Constitution. By many accounts, Arroyo’s unexpected interest in revising the Constitution has been regarded as a designing political afterthought to deflect the cascading ouster momentum following the revelation of the “Garci tapes.” The controversial tapes might have recorded Arroyo’s direct participation in what majority of the Filipinos believe to be the grand conspiracy to alter the results of the presidential elections.

Still others have seen the charter change scheme as a political accommodation for two politicians, former President Ramos and House Speaker De Venecia, the critical supports of both before and during the impeachment were instrumental in keeping Arroyo in office. The interest of De Venecia in the parliamentary form is an open secret: to be the head of the government without being elected nationally as president. Ramos’ motivations are not as well contoured: some still regard him as the country’s elder statesman in the mold of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, or he could be, quite ambivalently, America’s strongest link to its former colony.

Returning to the main topic of this piece, a people’s court that the Citizens’ Congress for Truth and Accountability is supposed to be and so functions - the purpose of which is to unravel the truth suppressed by a highly partisan vote during the impeachment proceeding - is by itself an attempt to re-order the system. It is a clear instance of civil society asserting its primacy; as a mature manifestation of people power, it has a better chance of graduating from what had been seen as ad-hoc expressions of the power during the staging of “street parliaments,” whether small- or large-scale. Literally speaking, the whole exercise may be extra-constitutional, but it is not contra-constitutional. For one thing, aside from the people-powered conception of the 1987 Constitution, there are specific provisions in the present Constitution (e.g., Article VI, Section I in relation to Article 32, reserving to the people a provision for initiative and referendum, and Article XII, Sections 15 and 16 as well as Article II, Section 23, recognizing the national role of people’s organizations, NGOs and community-based organizations and facilitating the establishment of adequate consultation mechanisms) that expressly admit of sharing of sovereign authority, a radical drift from the purely “representative form” under the older charters.

In another sense, the people’s residual and direct authority to try the impeachment charges in an alternative venue on the basis of the foregoing constitutional provisions as well as in pursuance of the underlying spirit of the 1987 Constitution may be considered as being akin to the putative and delegated authority of the judiciary to read into the Constitution certain inherent rights, such as the individual’s right to privacy that is not so provided in the explicit language of the Constitution.

In furtherance therefore of a transformative governance paradigm and moving still further forward, the coalition forces should take on the task of discovering more commonalities despite the disparate interests of their respective constituencies. The more expansive the common interests and the more persistent the efforts on other fundamental issues affecting the country whether social, political and economic, the greater would be their share of the sovereign authority and the less would be the need for the formalities of revising the written charter via some backward-looking fiat that could have been directed by personal interest or driven by the devious motivations of other agencies, whether individual, institutional, governmental, foreign or otherwise.

It is then hoped the traditional notion of centralizing sovereignty that underlies the debate about what form of government to adopt might ultimately give way to a People Power democracy that is anchored on solidarity, participation, inclusion and shared policymaking. The coalition will then just have to try harder to make a real difference.

29 Comments:

Anonymous Steve said...

Actually, Mrs. Arroyo did mention constitutional change in the campaign:
2 July 2004 Inquirer:
http://www.inq7.net/nat/2004/jul/02/nat_1-1.htm

"On Feb. 10, Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., the principal proponent of amending the Constitution, quoted Ms Arroyo as saying that she was amenable to stepping down in 2007 to allow a transition to the parliamentary system.

"Ms Arroyo confirmed this. And while courting the support of El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde during the campaign, she entered into an agreement with him that she would convene a constitutional convention "immediately after the May 10 elections" to undertake the Charter amendment."

November 14, 2005 12:06 AM  
Blogger Rizalist said...

Hi there Abe!
Just like that I can pop on over to say hello, coz I saw you on my sitemeter. Fact is, I wish there were more people like you to converse about a million things. But the Filipino blogosphere is soooo tiny yet. We are all "early adapters" as they say, and to think some of us were blogging before 2000. (I was sending email when the Web was 300 websites...all DARPA). You're one of the few I wish I could establish more rapport with. The world is exploding (sorry no pun intended) with new ideas about where humanity should go. I have a feeling the answers lie partially in the classics, but also I sense that we are outgrowing our most sophisticated notions.

One thing I know is, what we think has a lot to do with what we read. And with billions of webpages, this leads to a multiplicity of belief systems that perhaps are difficult to share.

All we can do is share links in order to share experiences and create points for discussion.

I sense you are a thinker in the large, so if there is any topic you might like to share with me, not in a polemical or argumentative mode, but in a real attempt to come to a concensus about something important, please feel free to communicate with me by email or on the Philippine Commentary Website. I learn the most from people who disagree with me, and especially those who turn out to be right!

One technique I've used with others to establish such a conversation is merely to exchange favorite writers' names and give reactions to the work of each others' choice.

Dean Jorge Bocobo

November 14, 2005 7:04 AM  
Blogger Abe N. Margallo said...

Hello Steve,

Thanks for dropping by.

What I’m trying to convey is that Cha-cha was not one of GMA’s campaign platforms.


Hi Dean,

What can I say but that I’m flattered. Well, I’ve been actually an eager reader of your commentaries on PDI. Unfortunately, Inquirer (or inq7.net) has not been running your pieces lately; hence, I’m glad you are blogging.

I like your idea but remember I’m not an intellectual like you. You can say I’m an activist, have been one since I was 15.

Off the top of my head, I know I’ve read some of Confucius, St. Paul, De Tocqueville, John Locke, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Henry George, John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, Leo Strauss, Jose Rizal, Apolinario Mabini, Pope John Paul II, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Robert Dahl, Eric Hobsbawn, Howard Zinn, Leon Ma. Guerrero, Renato Constantino, Nemesio Caravana, John Steinbeck, Walter Lippman, Walt Rostow, Paul Kennedy, Paul Krugman, Thomas Friedman, Francis Fukuyama, Samuel Huntington, Roberto Concepcion (primarily his court opinions), Enrique Fernando, William Greider, Joseph Stiglitz, Alan Wolfe, E. E. Cummings, Jose Garcia Villa , T.S. Elliot and maybe a handful more.

Right now, I’m reading Mahmood Mamdami’s “Good Muslim, Bad Muslim.”

Of course, I also enjoy the discourses of Randy David, mlq3, John Nery and Mario Taguiwalo.

November 14, 2005 11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

must check replica chanel etqAFTOQ [URL=http://www.fake-chanel--bags.org/]chanel knockoffs[/URL] for promotion code zaACpYgM [URL=http://www.fake-chanel--bags.org/ ] http://www.fake-chanel--bags.org/ [/URL]

November 24, 2012 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

check this link, [URL=http://e--store.com/]prada outlet store[/URL] and get big save aLMGPHZD [URL=http://e--store.com/ ] http://e--store.com/ [/URL]

December 01, 2012 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure the best for you VoPhBSDN [URL=http://www.louis--vuitton--online--shop.org/]online louis vuitton[/URL] , for special offer qBlszJNo [URL=http://www.louis--vuitton--online--shop.org/ ] http://www.louis--vuitton--online--shop.org/ [/URL]

January 13, 2013 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

must check MxWJgTkO [URL=http://www.spyder-jackets2013.com/]spyder ski jackets[/URL] , for special offer TtuFvQOB [URL=http://www.spyder-jackets2013.com/ ] http://www.spyder-jackets2013.com/ [/URL]

January 15, 2013 3:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

must check DyENprHV [URL=http://www.gucci-outlet2013.net/]gucci replica bags[/URL] with low price tPTeaXyf [URL=http://www.gucci-outlet2013.net/ ] http://www.gucci-outlet2013.net/ [/URL]

January 18, 2013 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you will like FZlBoMHB [URL=http://www.burberry-outlet2013.com/]burberry coats[/URL] and get big save eNLXbwNg [URL=http://www.burberry-outlet2013.com/ ] http://www.burberry-outlet2013.com/ [/URL]

January 19, 2013 5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buy LwNttyOc [URL=http://www.moncler-outlet2013.org/]moncler jacket[/URL] , just clicks away SSKRexyB [URL=http://www.moncler-outlet2013.org/ ] http://www.moncler-outlet2013.org/ [/URL]

January 23, 2013 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

get cheap [URL=http://replicahandbags45.yolasite.com/]designer inspired handbags[/URL] , just clicks away psbwbfar [URL=http://replicahandbags45.yolasite.com/ ] http://replicahandbags45.yolasite.com/ [/URL]

February 06, 2013 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ZnoAyj [url=http://onnrainnmcm.com/#56299]MCM 長財布[/url] VmqDxn http://onnrainnmcm.com/ BqhIeh [url=http://mcmsenmon.com/#32420]MCM 長財布[/url] RbhLxk http://mcmsenmon.com/ LwtSkz [url=http://ninnkimcm.com/#19998]MCM 長財布[/url] EouCiq http://ninnkimcm.com/ DfiRhm [url=http://kaidokumcm.com/#87680]MCM 財布[/url] WubAfx http://kaidokumcm.com/ HhtKbe [url=http://manzokumcm.com/#42411]MCM[/url] UwgOpv http://manzokumcm.com/ OnfEqs http://chloenihon.com/ GfyRtf [url=http://chloenihon.com/]クロエ キーケース[/url] CuxFkn http://louboutindendou.com/ FzrHak [url=http://louboutindendou.com/]ルブタン 財布[/url] BxrQiq http://guccisenmon.com/ HoqBik [url=http://guccisenmon.com/]GUCCI ベルト[/url] CugWki [url=http://mcmhannbai.com/]MCM 店舗[/url] XesNne [url=http://mcmhannbai.com/]mcm3806[/url]

February 07, 2013 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cheap [URL=http://guccioutletonline.clammo.com/ - gucci online shop[/URL - with confident xxmyKFaP [URL=http://guccioutletonline.clammo.com/ - http://guccioutletonline.clammo.com/ [/URL -

February 10, 2013 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you must read ZtoTtDmg [URL=http://spyderoutlet1.sport.fr/ - spyder outlet[/URL - to get new coupon CyXZrAJE [URL=http://spyderoutlet1.sport.fr/ - http://spyderoutlet1.sport.fr/ [/URL -

February 14, 2013 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

burberry sale sqnplwtn burberry outlet sljjngdc burberry bags trzcokrz burberry handbags jasofrsq

February 18, 2013 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beats by dr dre yksjoipw beats by dre haehwkmw beats dr dre kurzpavl beats for sale upiijbvx beats headphones dmpukcxe cheap monster beats idfdnbmo dr dre beats clgdghas dr dre headphones rhotfjih monster beats by dre zeltvifh monster beats headphones zdtzrkis monster beats kqjhktsa monster headphones vjsuyxda

February 20, 2013 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ghd nz savuhwuj ghd nz sale rdbswcqp ghd frqxjuyl

February 21, 2013 3:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beats by dr dre ppmbpmby beats by dre uwbmzcfb beats dr dre oivqynbg beats for sale hxwvqdyo beats headphones gcgmmsua cheap monster beats kyjikxtf dr dre beats jssqopdy dr dre headphones gkawheyi monster beats by dre vbetggaz monster beats headphones jvrhprua monster beats cblqudjt monster headphones dynwljmc

February 21, 2013 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

billige uggs rjqjlmsh ugg norge mpotolzp ugg sko eqjxnxwj ugg hbaokppu uggs australia pbzjdkqk uggs norge owgyzfqf uggs p? nett mmuohbzo uggs sko dpqozjvq uggs xcrxnxdg

February 21, 2013 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



my web site :: HP Officejet 4500

May 09, 2013 12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Feel free to visit my homepage; www.hpofficejet4500.net

May 09, 2013 1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello are using Wordpress for your site platform? I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get
started and set up my own. Do you require any html coding
knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!


Here is my web site: Authentic Sidney Crosby Jersey

May 25, 2013 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If sοme one desires to be updated with hοtteѕt teсhnologies
afterwаrd he must bе visit thіs wеb ѕіtе and be up to
ԁate dаіly.

Hеre iѕ mу ρagе Abrir Cuenta Facebook

May 28, 2013 6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, I discovered your web site by means of Google whilst searching for a related topic, your site got here up, it looks good.
I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
Hello there, simply turned into aware of your weblog via Google, and found that it's really informative. I am going to be careful for brussels. I'll appreciate when you
proceed this in future. Many other people might be benefited from your writing.
Cheers!

My blog post - best web hosts

June 10, 2013 12:08 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

chanel handbags, louis vuitton outlet, replica watches, christian louboutin shoes, burberry handbags, prada handbags, oakley sunglasses wholesale, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, nike air max, uggs on sale, louis vuitton, kate spade outlet, polo outlet, louis vuitton, ugg boots, michael kors outlet online, oakley sunglasses, tiffany and co, tiffany jewelry, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin uk, uggs outlet, replica watches, nike air max, jordan shoes, gucci handbags, nike free, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, ugg boots, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet online, longchamp outlet, ray ban sunglasses, nike outlet, christian louboutin outlet, burberry outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses

January 05, 2016 9:38 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

nike tn, coach outlet, replica handbags, nike roshe run uk, ray ban uk, guess pas cher, nike air max uk, sac hermes, true religion jeans, north face uk, ralph lauren uk, michael kors pas cher, coach outlet store online, converse pas cher, vans pas cher, longchamp pas cher, nike free uk, coach purses, polo lacoste, nike free run, michael kors, abercrombie and fitch uk, michael kors, burberry pas cher, air max, new balance, nike roshe, nike blazer pas cher, nike air max uk, hollister pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, true religion outlet, kate spade, oakley pas cher, true religion outlet, sac longchamp pas cher, north face, true religion outlet, mulberry uk, ray ban pas cher, jordan pas cher, polo ralph lauren, hollister uk, nike air max, lululemon canada, louboutin pas cher, nike air force, michael kors outlet, timberland pas cher, hogan outlet

January 05, 2016 9:40 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

nike tn, coach outlet, replica handbags, nike roshe run uk, ray ban uk, guess pas cher, nike air max uk, sac hermes, true religion jeans, north face uk, ralph lauren uk, michael kors pas cher, coach outlet store online, converse pas cher, vans pas cher, longchamp pas cher, nike free uk, coach purses, polo lacoste, nike free run, michael kors, abercrombie and fitch uk, michael kors, burberry pas cher, air max, new balance, nike roshe, nike blazer pas cher, nike air max uk, hollister pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, true religion outlet, kate spade, oakley pas cher, true religion outlet, sac longchamp pas cher, north face, true religion outlet, mulberry uk, ray ban pas cher, jordan pas cher, polo ralph lauren, hollister uk, nike air max, lululemon canada, louboutin pas cher, nike air force, michael kors outlet, timberland pas cher, hogan outlet

January 05, 2016 9:42 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

north face outlet, iphone 5s cases, valentino shoes, soccer shoes, timberland boots, beats by dre, babyliss, ralph lauren, ipad cases, nike trainers uk, asics running shoes, nike air max, celine handbags, lululemon, iphone 6s plus cases, new balance shoes, iphone cases, p90x workout, insanity workout, soccer jerseys, vans outlet, iphone 6 cases, chi flat iron, bottega veneta, mac cosmetics, louboutin, wedding dresses, giuseppe zanotti outlet, nfl jerseys, hollister, nike huaraches, jimmy choo outlet, hermes belt, baseball bats, iphone 6s cases, nike roshe run, reebok outlet, hollister clothing, longchamp uk, abercrombie and fitch, mont blanc pens, ghd hair, iphone 6 plus cases, mcm handbags, oakley, ferragamo shoes, north face outlet, s6 case, herve leger, instyler

January 05, 2016 9:43 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

supra shoes, moncler, vans, moncler, thomas sabo, canada goose, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, canada goose, marc jacobs, moncler, doke gabbana, converse, barbour, swarovski, pandora charms, hollister, moncler uk, canada goose outlet, juicy couture outlet, lancel, gucci, ray ban, canada goose, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, links of london, toms shoes, canada goose outlet, swarovski crystal, louis vuitton, converse outlet, ugg, moncler, louis vuitton, karen millen uk, nike air max, wedding dresses, pandora jewelry, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, ugg pas cher, juicy couture outlet, canada goose outlet, doudoune moncler, canada goose jackets, canada goose uk, replica watches, pandora jewelry, montre pas cher, moncler outlet, ugg uk, pandora uk

January 05, 2016 9:45 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home