Several attempts to introduce Charter change have been undertaken in the past. At present, the debate on Cha-cha was revived again. The present administration is proposing to revise the 1987 Constitution to make way for the Federal- Parliamentary system. All their efforts however were faced with protests by Corporates, Church leaders and individuals due to suspicions on their motives. The President is questioned on her interests on having term-extension because there is a possibility for her to be the Prime Minister if ever Charter change is approved. Though President Arroyo’s allies continue to defend her, legislators must not pursue Cha-cha because it does not guarantee economic development and it is just a waste of time.
President Arroyo stated on her last SONA that with Charter change, “legislation would be quickened and laws are made more responsive to the people.” Base on this statement, it seems like the administration is making promises again and what the people need is an assurance that this promise would not be broken. It is difficult to trust nowadays and amending Charter-change is too risky because it does not guarantee good results. It is also not timely for we only have seven months left for the 2010 Presidential elections.
Charter change involves a long and intricate process. If ever Cha-cha is amended, there will be massive revisions in the various articles of the 1987 Constitution. The problem in our government is that they do not know which bill to pass. They prioritize those that are in favor of them, not those that benefit the people. At present, we are experiencing economic crisis together with environment problems and corruption in the government, but still the high office pretends not to hear the people’s cries because they are busy with their selfish deeds. The country is not yet ready and prepared for these changes. It needs more time for such complicated process.
Since it is near the end of President Arroyo’s term, there are suspicions that she is pushing Cha-cha to prolong her political reign. It is possible because she can run for Congress which can lead to the seat of Prime Minister. The opposition fears that GMA would impose a dictatorial government worse than Martial Law in the regime of Marcos. If that happens, she can avoid litigation and she would be immune from case charges. The “Hello Garci” and ZTE scandals will be buried forever. The administration will stay in power and there will be more expensive dinners in Le Cirque.
Charter change is not the best option at this point in time. We must concentrate on other issues that are more important than wasting our time on this endless debate. Cha-cha is made for selfish intentions and not for the good of the country. A change in the Constitution is not worth it if we have the same people in the government. We need a leader who will represent our stand on this issue and someone who will put the country first before anything else. Our country needs not Charter change but character change. It is just like cleaning the house before adding new furniture.