Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mrs. Arroyo files her bid for Congress

Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is filing her Certificate of Candidacy for Congressman today, validating earlier fears that the next administration will just be a transitory one.

It seems that the strategic end-game is charter change.

And it will happen, since Congress already passed a law calling on the election of members of the Constitutional Convention come October 2010. A measure has already been enacted appropriating a budget for this.

Now, if we are headed towards charter change by October of 2010, why are we doing this messy business of electing a president by May 2010? Why are we so a-gog in electing someone to replace Mrs. Arroyo when the role of the next will just be transitory?

For one, there will actually be a very good legal question on this.

For example, if we shift to a parliamentary setup and a Prime Minister is elected among his peers, who will be more powerful---the president who is elected at large, or the Prime Minister who is elected by the representatives of the People?

In our jurisdiction, the Supreme Court puts greater emphasis on those elected by vox populi. So, it should be the President. The question really is--come 2010 and beyond, who will have the power to appoint key positions in government---the Prime Minister or the president? Who will have a nominal role?

Now, on the realm of possibilities, this is possible. The question really is--how strong is the composition of the Senate by 2010? If the end-game is charter change, the only institution strong enough to serve as the last bulwark of democracy is the Senate. If we elect those who favor charter change by 2010 to the Senate, then, this might yet be realized by next year.

For us to repulse this plan by Mrs. Arroyo, the opposition has to get 200 seats in Congress, dominate the Senate and win the presidency. Tough order right?

From today up to May, expect fireworks from differing camps to heat the election derby up. Expect more Maguindanao massacres, since the military continues to tolerate armed groups and private armies.