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Monday, October 15, 2007

Charter Change: A New Hope?

Episode IV
It is a period of uncertainty. Rebels in Congress plan impeachment, striking with investigating broadband deals, and allegations of bribery, are fighting against the Arroyo Administration.

During the last few weeks, shadow boxing in the background away from preying eyes were abound. Now, the Administration renews its attempt to effect CHARTER CHANGE, a method that may ensure they shall have enough power beyond the terms limit of the Constitution.

Pursued by the Administration's agents, Maria Clara, must find the Truth and free Juan dela Cruz from his bondage and restore Freedom to their Homeworld....
Kidding aside, I've always been a supporter of Federalism. I believe it is a way, (not the only way, but a way) to improve this country. I believe that by decentralizing, we encourage and stimulate our economy on the local level.

That said, I can not help but agree with MLQ3's sentiment in Return of the Scheme:
Whether this focus on Federalism is meant to muster local government support, and salve the wounded feelings of original Civil Society allies of the Palace, remains to be seen -just as whether this is an effort to put the President’s imprint on this version in contrast to the parliamentary focus of the Speaker who pushed for the previous effort: after all, having solved the President’s impeachment-related problem for 2007-2008, the Speaker is now dispensable (despite warnings from the Speaker that if he falls, she falls, which he said he told her in a one-on-one meeting Sec. Puno denies every happened; see also Datumanong drafted by Palace to replace JDV? But Newbsreak says, detente is the name of the game).
A few weeks ago, Ricky Carandang wrote From the Frying Pan... and it reminds me today why we must be weary of this Charter Change proposal:
...the president knew that the ZTE proposal did not conform to her own policy and guidelines about how a broadband deal should be done. She knew that, contrary to her stated policy, the ZTE proposal would require the government to borrow the money to fund the project. And yet, she approved the deal later on anyway. (my emphasis)
Again, I can not help but agree. The president always says one thing, and means another. Based on instances like what Mr. Carandang reported, Mrs. Arroyo knows what needs to be done, knows what is good for this country, says the right things, and yet, based on what is happening the past few years and through these scandals--- goes ahead and does something else. Why?

The Inquirer reported Arroyo's renewed call for Charter Change:
In a speech at the regional workshop on the Establishment of National Human Rights Institutions in Asia in Manila Monday, Arroyo ordered the creation of a panel that would draft a "roadmap to federalism by 2012."

The panel will include the secretaries of justice and interior and local government, the Presidential Management Staff, National Economic Development Authority, leaders of local government units, congressmen, and opposition leaders advocating federalism, she said.
Given all this, I can not help but speculate that this is all about staying in power. I am forced to conclude that this is yet another measure to keep the status quo alive, without ever intending to improve the lives of our people. I want to be proven wrong. I want Federalism. Yet, this seem tainted somehow, like Dark Side tainted.

I can not think anything but "ill" about this. Why? Because time and again, we've been asked to trust this administration and all it has ever wrought is more scandals, and more divisiveness and more mediocrity. The Arroyo Administration's credibility has become no better than the boy who cried wolf too many times.
The secret teaching of the Itto Ryu school of Kendo, Kiriotoshi, is the first technique of some hundred or so. The teaching is "Ai Uchi", meaning to cut the opponent just as he cuts you. This is the ultimate training... it is lack of anger. It means to treat your enemy as an honored guest. It also means to abandon your life or throw away fear.
- Miyamoto Musashi, Go Rin No Sho;
Trans., by Victor Harris
I believe change must come from somewhere. I believe that change must be from every Filipino. If we are ever to step up and walk the path of Charter Change--- which is a good thing, if done properly, then it must be a transparent forum. It must be a forum of inclusion, even the Communists I dare say (though I doubt they'd want to participate in something productive), must be there or at least invited to participate. It can not be just those people the President says will be a part of "yet another panel," yet another farce. It must be a forum where we all agree that whatever is decided, will be where we shall go. It must be a legitimate forum that does more than "talk," like we always do. It must yield results: a credible, concrete measure to fight inequality, to fight incapacity, and our step towards a new order. Now that would be a new hope.

[1, 2] images are from promotional material tied to Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (click the number to take you to page for licensing details for the images).
[3] Bastila Shan from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (link has licensing details).


Political Jaywalker said...

Charter Change - A Facade To BOGUS FEDERALISM......... check out why as expounded by Neo Filipino at.... Pedestrian Observer.