By Democrito C. Barcenas
President Duterte and his minions plan to amend the Charter in a most inappropriate time of our history. The raging Covid-19 pandemic has already victimized thousands with almost 10,000 deaths, and is devastating the economy with more than 10,000,000 jobless, and the people still have no vaccines.
The President earlier stated that he wanted Charter Change (Cha-Cha) to scrap the party-list system for the purpose of “ending insurgency.” Taking a cue from their boss in Malacañang, House leaders announced their plan for Charter Change but for a different reason -- to scrap the restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution to invite foreign investments to boost the economy.
Whether the purpose for Cha-Cha is to end insurgency or end our economic problems, the timing is suspect and many people believe that self-interests propel the move.
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco assured the nation that the proposed Cha-Cha would not include political provisions, saying that there will be no term extensions and that there will be elections in 2022.
The propaganda that only the economic provisions in the Charter will be amended is pure hogwash. Even a law student knows that once a constituent assembly is convened, nothing can prevent our lawmakers from making wholesale amendments or revisions of the Constitution, including the lifting of term limits.
We should not be hoodwinked again. As the saying goes, “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”!