05 June 2009

The Cost in Passing a Con-Ass Reso

Photo courtesy of Buck Pago
Major dailies reported that because of additional offers of cash and more pork barrel funds of up to PhP 20 million each from MalacaƱang, allies of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo worked overtime on 2 June 2009 to have the Constitutional Assembly (con-ass) resolution approved by a mere voice vote.

House Resolution 1109 was signed by more than 170 congressmen shortly before midnight, as Speaker Prospero Nograles will say, "to finally put an end to the perpetual conflict on the legal interpretation of how to amend the Charter by way of constituent assembly."

"I’m prepared to bite the bullet and face public scorn if only to convince the Supreme Court that it should now step in and make a clear interpretation of this particular provision of our Constitution," the Speaker said.

Now what? That is a big question because, now that the dust cleared, these congressmen appeared more to have acted out of their greed and not because of their care for this country. Why, because a day after approving the con-ass resolution, Nograles and his ilk are still at a loss on what to do next.

The Speaker said he asked Congressman Arthur Defensor to "iron out all the legal issues and recommend (to me) what’s the next move." Asked if the House would send the con-ass resolution to the Senate or would immediately convene as a con-ass after its approval without the participation of senators, Nograles said, "I don’t know. I will consult the rules committee and the (House) leadership on what to do next. Perhaps when we return in July, we can convene as a con-ass. I don’t know."

So let us get this clear - Speaker Nograles and the rest of the supporters of the con-ass resolution has been pushing for the Constitutional amendments for years now and yet are not aware of what to do once they approved a measure of this importance. They went at it for several hours and even deprived the minority lawmakers of enough time to oppose it and yet do not want to take part in the nitty-gritty work of fiddling with the measure once it leaves their desk.

Naturally, Filipinos should have not expected these congressmen to memorize the whole legislative process as long their pockets is lined with 30 pieces of silver from MalacaƱang, but still they could have, at least, shown their genuine care of what their greedy actions have resulted to. What is even striking is that many of these so-called followers of truth and justice and the tents of equitable protection of the laws, does not seem to care that majority of Filipinos are not in favor of President Arroyo's term-extension, much less amending the Constitution on a grand scale.

These politicians in the Lower House are just as arrogant as their leader when they continue to insult everyone's intelligence with blatant disingenuous lies. Now, they are all appearing in television programs to make it appear that they are self-righteous and reforming, as if their mock solemnity would convince anybody that they are not doing this because of pure greed. They pretend to tinker with the so-called 'ineffective' political system, not knowing that nobody is impressed and mollified.

They just don't get it, do they? In order for the whole political system to be genuinely reformed, the whole corrupt stable named Philippine Congress, needs to cleaned out first and culprits prosecuted regardless of political affiliation, instead shielding them and improving their financial lot by calling them parliamentarians. If ordinary people living in the real world had done what these self-serving lawmakers have done, they will be hauled immediately to an investigative panel and criminal inquiries will be conducted before anybody can even say "pork barrel". Hence, why not apply the same zeal of prosecution to these "politicians on the fiddle". Proponents of Resolution 1109 should be the first set of volunteers.