Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Garci, Con Com, Cha Cha

This time, I didn’t bother to watch the live coverage of the House of Representatives hearings on the wiretapping scandal. Reading today’s newspapers, I think this was a wise decision as nothing new came out of it. It even seems that most administration parliamentarians (and they control a huge majority) have written off the whole matter.

Meanwhile far more substantive political discussions have been held in the Constitutional Commission (Con Com) which is posed to submit to the president by the end of this week recommendations for a new Philippine constitution to replace the 1987 basic law.

Compared to the media exposure of the “Hello Garci” hearings, the discussions in the Constitutional Commission have received at best secondary public attention. I also have the sense, that many members of the political class and the political parties are not particularly interested in the charter change debate. Not a few Filipinos I have talked to see the whole project as just another ploy of the president to divert public attention away from the ongoing political crisis.

I don’t think this is a fair assessment: GMA could happily continue her term to the very end without changing the constitution. Other well known gentlemen are pressing for amendments, and their motives are not exclusively altruistic.

That charter change doesn’t top the people’s priorities has once more been revealed in a recent Pulse Asia survey. Two highlights only:

- nearly seven in ten Filipinos (68 %) say they do not know enough about the existing constitution
- six in ten (60 %) are not in favor of shifting from a presidential to a parliamentary form of government.

Conclusion: Much convincing (should we call it civic education?) is needed before cha cha becomes reality.

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    Anonymous Edward Liberal said...

    Liberal Party said it is for cha-cha parliamentary. I am not so sure what the Senators is say if they are asked to give up their positions in a unicameral. What do you think?

    3:43 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    edward, who r u?

    6:00 PM  

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