Friday, June 5, 2009

Resolution 1109 and People Power

Father Joaquin Bernas agreed with the position taken by New Philippine Revolution that only People Power can reverse the action taken by the House of Representatives on Resolution 1109(Thea Alberto, " Charter Change could spark People Power" at http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20090604-208825/Charter-change-could-spark-People-Power).

Now, I don't agree with the position taken by some bloggers that there is nothing to worry about here, since Congress has not constituted itself as an Assembly. That position is faulty and worrisome because it assumes the position of Malacanang itself. Probably, they have'nt realized the gravity of the action of the Lower House.

By intentionally leaving out the Senate in the deliberations, and passage of Resolution 1109, that provocative act by the Lower House was meant as a challenge to the Senate for a showdown of force. Actually, the Lower House already succeeded in proving the irrelevance of the Senate. By arrogating full legislative powers, the Lower House just showed how the Legislature can still function by just one House.

Without any proof that democratic processes have been impaired by the exclusion of the Senate in legislative procedure, there is nothing to prevent the Lower House from moving decisively forward, since they have shown in concrete terms, that they have the numbers, and the muscle, to force such an issue.

That said, the message that the architects of Resolution 1109 is simple---it has shown the irrelevance of the Senate. The Rasputins of the Lower House even used a mere Resolution to spite the Senate. Yes, it is unconstitutional. Yes, it is immoral and patently illegal. Yet, the issue here is not about legalities or immorality, no.

This is actually an ideological or polemical war meant to justify the eventual shift from a bicameral to a unicameral form of legislature. The architects of this Resolution are trying to show the relevance of unicameralism, that one House can pass such a monumental piece of legislation by using a mere resolution.

Now, on the issue of transmittal. Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile is confident that nothing will come about this Resolution since the Lower House will eventually transmit the same to them.

Is'nt it patently clear that the Lower House is not going to do that? Since it has succeeded in the first time, why would the Lower House go the "constitutional route" when they already accomplished what they intended through the extra-constitutional route?

The Lower House already committed a heinous crime by intentionally leaving the Senate out of the process and formalizing it through a viva voce vote. All of them are liable for the crime of treason. They all know that. Now, why the rush and the brazen show of force?

These Congressmen are banking on the support of Malacanang. The 20 million pesos "bribe money" coursed thru the PDAF is just for starters. What they eventually want is for the parliamentary elections to push thru since this will give a new lease of life to third termers and give in to the plan of Malacanang for Gloria Forever.

A patently illegal move by the Lower House justifies the use of an extra-constitutional action. Why? Because that's the only recourse left for the Senate to justify its relevance in a "bicameral" form of legislature. The Senate must show its strength by marshalling its national constituency. There is no other means to counter the action taken by the Lower House.

People power is our last resort since this will show the way for the Lower House to rectify itself and do self-censure. If they don't see the numbers in the streets, they would proceed with their dastardly plan of changing the form of government.

On the legality of Resolution 1109

For all intents and purposes, Resolution 1109 is legal, except that the wordings of the bill itself is patently illegal. The Lower House has the power to deliberate and pass a Resolution. Yet, that Resolution is half-baked. It should pass to the Senate to be able to achieve full legality.

Now, what if the Lower House decides not to transmit this resolution to the Senate? What if they succeed in their provocation and constitute themselves

The Legal Option

This is my suggestion---prevent every member of the Lower House to physically attend a special session to be announced later by Speaker Nograles. Groups should do whatever means necessary to prevent Congressmen from attending this session.