Angging Blasts Cha-Cha, Nograles

Dec. 12, 2006

In a privilege speech on Monday, Davao City Councilor Angela Librado-Trinidad lambasted the administration’s efforts to change the Constitution. “This worries me. This ails me, because we are again being hoodwinked to believe that we need Cha-Cha more than ever,” Trinidad said. She also said it was the city’s “misfortune” that one of its congressmen, Prospero Nograles, is involved in the deception.

Missing the Point, Stopping the Cha-cha Train

By Atty. Angela Librado-Trinidad
Councilor,1st District, Davao City
December 11, 2006

I stand before this body to participate in the
widespread call against the charter amendments, the
House Resolution No.1450 which proposes a constituent
assembly, and Speaker De Venecias call for
constitutional convention. It is appalling that as
residents in Luzon and Visayas reel from the impact of
the series of natural tragedies which struck our
country, as ordinary people are gunned down or knifed
in broad daylight almost every other day, as the
common Filipino struggle against the daily grinding
poverty, we witness how the administration lawmakers
at the Lower House make a fool of themselves and
attempt to put our morals, our values, our sense of
dignity to ruins.

Alas, and to our misfortune, our very own Congressman
Prospero Nograles, as the House majority leader, is
among those who have practically commandeered the
Lower House and transform it into a simple majority in
numbers machine. Never mind that they cannot answer
logically how they can delete crucial provision in the
House Rules without reviewing other similar sections.
Never mind that they can injudiciously interpret a
Senate-less Congress as sufficient for the constituent
assembly, contrary to the Section 1, Paragraph 1,
Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution. Never mind that
they cannot explain convincingly how the change in
House Rules can take place without the simple
concurrence or endorsement of the committee on rules.
Never mind that Pres. Arroyos allies all looked
not-so-representatives, especially when they wanted to
extend their terms beyond June 30, 2007. For them,
the charter change train is in a hustle. For them, to
consider logic, reason and rule of law in changing the
Constitution would be a waste of time.

And when everything backfired, when the Church
hierarchy spoke against them, when the threat of
powerful street protests right before the eyes of the
ASEAN leaders, and when the Senate stood back, our
elected leaders at the Lower House are at it again,
this time foisting the constitutional convention as a
likely means for changing the Charter. Yet, Speaker de
Venecia and his allies have not withdrawn House
Resolution No.1450. The Sigaw ng Bayan, after failing
to convince the High Court of their peoples
initiative, has in fact, silently, passed a motion for
reconsideration. And in fact, after Mondays 3-hour
caucus, Nograles, ever opportunistic, initiated a
face-saving move by saying that todays Con-ass had
been put off or temporarily shelved to allow the
House members to deliberate on the Con-con, the
election of which will be held during the May 2007

This worries me. This ails me, because we are again
being hoodwinked to believe that we need Cha-Cha more
than ever and any of the three modes of Cha-cha can be
explored by the present administration. How can we
expect a genuine peoples initiative to flourish in a
system steeped in electoral fraud and patronage
politics led by no less than the widely believed
fraudulent President? How can we expect a credible
Constitutional Convention to be assembled in a society
influenced by the elite, big business and foreign
domination? Politicians are likely to control this
convention. How can we trust a Constituent assembly by
a Congress that is dominated by landlords and
self-serving businessmen? More importantly, and as
raised by guests during the Senate inquiry yesterday,
for as long as we have the same Comelec which bred
fellows like Garcilliano, how can we expect a clean
plebiscite or referendum?

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