Tila hindi mapipigilan ang Kongreso sa pagsusulong sa charter change sa ilalim ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, kahit na binabatikos sila sa pag-atupag nito sa gitna ng pandemya.
Sa episode na ito, tatalakayin nina Rappler House of Representatives reporter Mara Cepeda at researcher-writer Jodesz Gavilan kung ano ang ipinapanukala ng Kongreso ngayong taon na baguhin sa Konstitusyon.
Ilang beses na ring sinubukan ng mga kaalyado ni Duterte na baguhin ang 1987 Constitution, ngunit hindi sila nakakapagtuloy-tuloy. Ayon kay Cepeda:
I think what it says about the Duterte government is that they are not able to convince the people to agree to something that radically changes the way the government is going to be run, the way the Filipinos’ lives are going to run for the rest of their lives perhaps.... Na'ndito tayo sa 2021, isang taon na lang matatapos na ang term ni Presidente, at noong siya’y tumatakbong kandidato, 'binibida niya ang federalism, pero hanggang ngayon, hindi pa rin siya nagkakatotoo. For me, it also indicates that the President’s political will is not as strong as they are touting it to be. He has a lot of allies in the [House], but it’s been 5 years and they’re still not able to push for charter change.... But I think it’s also rooted [in the fact that] the people aren’t supporting it. Lalo na ngayon, na-timing-an pa na may pandemic. I do believe that local officials would rather focus on saving their citizens from the disease than convincing residents to support charter change para iyong mga kongresista at senador natin will push for it.
May patutunguhan pa ba ang inisyatibang ito, lalo na't malapit nang matapos ang termino ni Duterte? (READ: Will Congress dance to Duterte’s last Cha-Cha?)
Maraming kritiko rin ang nag-aalala na maaaring abusuhin ng Kongreso ang chater change. Kinakatakutan din ito ni Cepeda, kaya dapat bantayan ang bawat hakbang ng mga kongresista at senador:
Ako, iyong fear ko as a Filipino citizen is that, kapag dumating na sa plenary – meaning the entire House and the entire Senate begin discussing and proposing amendments – my fear is at some point one of them will say, "I want to introduce this amendment extending our term, or extending the term of the President," or something so drastic that ensures [to] expand or extend their power. Hindi mo kasi mapipigilan iyon. Once Congress convenes itself into a constitutional assembly, they can do anything, they can change anything. Iyon iyong fear ko: at some point, someone will just renege on the "We’re just going to [change] the economic provisions" commitment and propose something that’s beyond that, something that indicates that they’re going to abuse their power again.
Pakinggan ang podcast.
Ang Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories ay podcast series ng Rappler tungkol sa mahahalaga at malalaking isyu sa Pilipinas. – Rappler.com
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