No need for ‘cha-cha’

By Herbert Vego

COULD we believe President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for saying that he is not interested in amending the Constitution that both the Senate and the House of Representatives go gaga about?

“It’s not a priority for me,” he recently said. “All these things being talked about, we can do without changing the Constitution.”

Don’t you think he was just trying to lead us into thinking that the senators and congressmen are no robots of his but are intendent-minded?

As of yesterday, the  House of Representatives  had approved on second reading a resolution to amend the 1987 Constitution through a constitutional convention (con-con) to be composed of elected and appointed delegates.

The Senate wants the same banana but most senators  reportedly want it done by transforming themselves and congressmen into a constituent assembly (con-ass).

Their common intention kuno is “to open up the economy to more foreign direct investments.” Foreigners would be allowed 100% capitalization in business ventures, instead of the prevailing 40%; and allowed to buy lands.

OMG, don’t we already have enough taipans to take care of business? More of them would tempt farmers to sell their farms for magical conversion into subdivisions.

We can imagine “nationalistic” Senator Robinhood Padilla inviting his friends from China to “come, invest and live with us.”

But some of them have also revealed interest in abolishing term limits. In that scenario, incumbent politicians from the President to the municipal councilors could run for re-election forever.

Unless Marcos was joking, he is right in seeing nothing wrong with the present Constitution.

In fact, it’s our solons who are accountable for ignoring Article II, Section 26 of the Constitution that says, “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.”

Congress, unfortunately, has opted not to pass an enabling law with “implementing rules and regulation” to that effect.

In fairness, though, there were legislators who had filed anti-dynasty bills, which ended up trashed.

A bill, introduced by former Caloocan City congressman Edgar Erice, partly said, “No spouse, or person related within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, whether legitimate or illegitimate, full or half-blood, to an incumbent elective official seeking re-election shall be allowed to hold or run for any local or national elective office in the same election.”

Capiz Congressman Fredenil Castro had another failed bill, which prohibited “the second degree of consanguinity from running for public office.”

So, if they could not uphold an existing constitutional nugget, why trust them to dance the correct cha-cha steps?