Fr. Bernas may have point when he said here that Gloria is insulting the Supreme Court by pursuing changing the constitution. There is 1997 SC ruling that there is no enabling law to amend the constitution via people’s initiative. How do we get to have the enabling law? Via the legislative branch of course. But we already know that they will never create one – that would be like writing about their own demise.
So why is Malacanang pursuing the signature campaign? I don’t think it’s really legal process to change the constitution. It’s more of asking the people if they want to support a change in the political system. Or maybe, Malacanang simply wants the people to be at least curious. Right now, no one, I think, really trusts the presidential system. Or the president. Or the Congress and the Senate. And now, I’m not even sure I trust the Supreme Court. Heck, I don’t trust the government in general.
Will the parliamentary system work for us? I don’t know. Nobody really knows, I think. But if this present form of government has been rendered magulo and ineffective, I guess, parliamentary is the alternative. Why would people not want to change the constitution? Or change an ineffective form of government altogether?
The only reason I could think of as to why people wouldn’t want to change the form of government is because they have become so familiar with it – the texts (Constitution, bills, laws, etc) and the processes (presidential elections, budget creation, etc.) So familiar that they also know the way around it. And those who are planning to enter politics have been studying it all their lives that changing everything now would render their ’knowledge’ useless. Thus, they want to keep everything as is.
Also, part of me thinks, that Fr. Bernas wants to protect his constitution. As one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, perhaps he seeks to maintain its integrity. I’m sure his motives are good. My question is, is the 1987 Constitution really still applicable to our country? To its present political, economical, and cultural identity? Our country was dealing with something different back then, and now our country is dealing with something different – yet familiar – altogether. Perhaps it solved a lot of issues during that era, but now, 2006 is far more complex.
I just think we should try this change.