A DEEPER VIEW
By JESSE E.L. BACON II
HOUSE Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo really knows how to pull support for her very unpopular version of the proposed new Constitution by lifting term limits for incumbent politicians.
The move could be likened to a query posed before a group of drug addicts if they want drugs. Of course, the reply is a no-brainer. Everyone would like drugs they being drug addicts.
The constitutionally imposed term limit for incumbent politicians had always been a bane to them since elections were held under the 1987 constitution. Politicians love to be in office all their life not so much because they love to serve the lost, the last and the least but because the office they occupy afford them certain privileges withheld from ordinary citizens like you and me.
Arroyo’s proposal to lift term limits of incumbent politicians is music to the ear of every politician most especially congressmen who, generally speaking, are sworn to serve and promote their own interests.
Who will not want to die with their boots on as congressmen given current pecuniary benefits they are getting as such. Think of this. Every congressman receives a total monthly salary and other emoluments of up to about P1 million. This does not include the usual “commission” they get for their favorite projects funded by their annual congressional allocation of P90 million.
Nowadays, congressmen, for our purposes let us just focus on our legislators from the Lower House since the controversial proposed Charter is pushed by the Speaker no less, are also given the privilege of identifying other projects that will be included in the annual appropriations of national line agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways that on the average amount to not less than P1 billion.
Speaker Arroyo knows that by lifting term limits, she will be assured of non-partisan support from a good majority of congressmen for her proposal. But she is not doing this solely for the purpose of making her colleagues in the Lower House happy. Her version of the proposed Charter must have in it provisions meant to benefit her.
Personally, I still have read Arroyo’s proposed draft. And my navigation in social media did not yield any findings of a thorough review and critique of such proposal except the mention that it envisions a limitless term for incumbent politicians and the expunging of the incumbent Vice President from the succession line during the transition period or when President Duterte resigns.
In such a situation, Arroyo proposes that it should be the Senate President who should succeed on an interim basis.
Arroyo’s proposed Charter may gain traction among incumbent politicians but will it gain traction among the citizenry who will finally decide as to its fate in a plebiscite?
Fact is, when Arroyo was still the Palace occupant several times she tried to push for the amendment of the 1987 constitution. At that time she had all the powers and the influence to sway the legislature and even the entire populace to go along with her intention. But she had always been rebuffed by the people.
Will she succeed this time as Speaker in her objective of changing the Charter where as President she miserably failed? Personally, I doubt if she can. She may have the support of a sizable number of House members, but the people for sure will remain adamant and skeptical about this move coming as it does from Arroyo. (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dec 13, 2018 0THIS year, the Ayala group of companies has listed PHP 203.13 billion worth of bonds, making up about 20% of Philippine bond market today. On December 7, 2018, BPI reported to have listed PHP 25 billion—the largest single bond issue ever to be listed in the Philippine Dealing & Exchange...