Hijacking democracy

THE FORCES of darkness do not sleep. They never stop assaulting democracy in the country and try to find ways to murder it.

Amidst the distraction brought about by silly antics like the “God is stupid” remark, a dark and insidious plan is being hatched to hijack democracy in the country. If Filipinos are not alert, they will wake up one of these days to find themselves in the clutches of a dictatorship of the worst kind.

The Lower House is once again pushing for charter change and is reviving the move to amend the present Constitution. The Du30 appointed Constitutional Commission (ConCom) submitted to the House the draft Federal Constitution. The proposed constitution of the ConCom is an abomination to democracy and is designed to usher in the dark era of one-man rule in the country.

Consider the transitory provision of the proposed Federal Constitution. It gave vast power to Du30 to restructure the government once the proposed charter is adopted. Du30 will be the head of the Federal Transition Committee (FTC). The body has vast almost unlimited power to reorganize the government to create a federal system. He can hire, re-hire, and fire people as well as determine what states will comprise the federal system and how the states will transition to the new set-up of government.

While the revised draft prevents Du30 from running again (after the original proposal permitting him to be president again drew heavy and furious criticism), he can run as transition president with enormous dictatorial power. What will prevent Du30 from using his sweeping power during the transition to restore the original proposal? How many times had Du30 reneged on his promise and broke his word? It is easy for him to say he was only joking when he made his promise.

If a state fails to comply with its obligations in the federal republic, Du30 as federal president can intervene and take all necessary measures to deal with the failure. Given Du30’s notorious record, he can invent the most absurd excuse to bring a state to its knees.

The most alarming aspect of the proposed federal constitution is the absence of any phrase that guarantees full respect of human rights. This is in line with Du30’s allergy of human rights and his hatred of its concept. But human rights make humans human and its absence in the proposed constitution will reduce Filipinos to a status less human. They can be abused, taken advantaged and oppressed by authorities without human rights. Du30 envisions an enslaved people, beholden only to him in the new federal Philippines, a country of fanatics and worshipers of a false god and idol.

Lawless violence is enough for Du30 to declare martial law under the proposed federal constitution. The President can easily justify lawless violence,” former chief justice Hilario Davide said. According to him having this provision “bolsters the reality of dictatorial rule.” Retired Supreme Court Justice Adolf Azcuna added that “lawless violence is a police matter. There is no need for the military to address that.”

Perhaps the most anti-democratic is this provision of the proposed federal constitution. “The democratic and republican character of the government, its federal structure, its indissolubility, and permanence shall not be subject to amendment s or revisions.” Not subject to change and permanent forever? Change is the only permanence in this world and preventing it will chain the future generation of Filipinos to a system that resembles the Third Reich.

In a democracy, the people are supreme. They can freely exercise their sovereign will. Why prevent the people from exercising their sovereign power and will by barring them from changing the country’s constitution? The dictatorial and tyrannical nature of the proposed federal system of Du30 is clear and unequivocal.

Speaker Alvarez wanted ramming to the throats of Filipinos the proposed federal constitution the top priority of the House. He wants to postpone scheduled local and national elections next year to give way to the shifting of the form of government to federal. Alvarez even had the gall to say that postponing the election can be done through mere legislative action. He ignores the provision in the present Constitution that says regular election for members of Congress is held every second Monday of May.

Election is the essence of democracy and doing away with it is autocratic and dictatorial. Alvarez and cohorts wanted to have a free ride to power by removing the right of the people to choose their leaders.

Du30 and Alvarez are hijacking democracy in this country by forcibly shoving to the public the unpalatable federal constitution bypassing the democratic process. They are resorting to underhanded means fully aware that Filipinos are against changing the current Constitution. If they follow the democratic process, their evil design has no chance of passing.

The recent Pulse Asia survey on June 15 – 21, 2018 reveals that 67 percent of Filipinos are against amending the present Constitution, a 3-point increase from 64 percent in the March survey. Opposition to the moves of Du30 is even increasing.

Lack of public support will not deter Du30 and Alvarez from carrying out their nefarious plan. Obsessed with destroying democracy and possessed with an insatiable hunger for power, Du30 and his gang will use the foulest means to tear down the present constitutional order and replace it with the edifice of tyranny and one-man rule.

In these dark and troubled times, Filipinos are called upon to rise and defend democracy. The dark forces must NOT be allowed to hijack democracy in this country and build a new dictatorship. Resistance is no longer an option, it is a must!

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