The United Opposition and Partido ng Masang Pilipino president Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay is very skeptical on the activities of Mrs. Arroyo, claiming that the people should closely watch the Congress in the issue of charter change (Cha-cha).
In a recent talk with the Pampanga media, Binay insinuated that the President will likely benefit if the proposed amendment of the Constitution pushes through. Although they were saying that the amendments will be confined with economic concerns, Binay said the opposition party believes otherwise because once Cha-Cha is there, the administration can do everything it wish to satisfy the president’s alleged plan to become Prime Minister.
If the form of our government be changed into a presidential-unicameral parliament, the members of the parliament are the ones electing the prime minister. And as it stands today, majority of the members of the House are allies of President Arroyo.
But the only way for her to be elected as prime minister is to be elected as a House Representative or a congresswoman first. And of course, what better district would it be to seal her easy victory rather than the second district of Pampanga, where her eldest son congressman Mikey Arroyo is the incumbent representative.
The United Opposition is strongly opposing the proposed Cha-Cha through Constituent Assembly (Con-As) or Constitutional Convention (Co-con). “Sa ganitong sistema, babalik tayo sa moro-moro. Ung inept at incompetent ang maisasama sa constitutional convention. Siguradong kamag-anak ng mga may interes ang patatakbuhin sa Con-Con,” Binay said.
House Speaker Prospero Nograles and Camarines Sur Representative Luis Villafuerte recently authored a resolution to convene Congress into a constituent assembly (Con-As) to amend the 1987 Constitution.
In the said resolution, the members of Congress “will convene for the purpose of considering proposals to amend or revise the Constitution, upon a vote of three-fourths of all the members of Congress.” Under the measure, it was stressed that adopting a mode for amending or revising the Constitution “is a condition precedent, a prerequisite, before specific proposals to amend or revise the Constitution could be considered.”
Hearings are expected to begin on House Resolution 1109 soon while at least 174 congressmen are expected to support the resolution.
“Ito ang pakababantayan natin,” Binay said. Instead of Con-As or Con-Con, the United Opposition is proposing to establish a Constitutional Commission composed of sectoral representatives. Binay said the commission will carry the real sentiment and concerns of the people because of the multi-sectoral participation instead of Nograles’ proposition to confine the power of amending the Constitution in the hands of few congressmen who are allies of the administration.
Besides, Binay said the proposed Cha-cha is nothing but a ploy of the Arroyo to protect themselves from litigation and charges after her term ends in 2010. This, of course, should be supported by evidence or else Binay and the United Opposition might be accused of just discrediting the President because both him and former President Estrada have plans to run for President in the 2010 polls.
But Binay seems to be unshaken of such accusations because he said if we study our situation closely, there is no need to amend the Constitution. All we need is to strictly implement the existing laws. And if the Arroyo administration is using the issues on economics for Cha-Cha, Binay said all we have to do is look at China. “Mahirap magnegosyo sa China pero pumupumta ang mga investors duon. Kasi andun ang opportunities, mababa halaga magnegosyo at mayruon silang seguridad,” he said.
He claims that it is not the laws that prevent investors from coming in but the country’s peace and order situation, the business atmosphere, lack of infrastructure and the political instability. He added that if the Philippines can be as competitive as China, then the laws are not problems at all.