Hypocrisies in the 1987 Constitution, 2 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 14:03

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them… women rule over them…” (Isaiah 3:11, 12, the Holy Bible).

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HYPOCRISIES IN THE 1987 CONSTITUTION, PART 2: Aside from the hypocritical provision on agrarian reform, the 1987 Constitution of the then Cory Aquino government also contains a useless and empty section which, though it promises to destroy political dynasties—or families in control of elective and appointive positions in government—actually strengthens politicians’ stranglehold on key positions.

This section on political dynasties is found under Section 26, Art. II of the 1987 Constitution, which says: “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.” This provision is couched in mandatory language with its use of the word “shall”, and is therefore supposed to be strictly obeyed.

It was included in the Constitution that Cory Aquino maneuvered to be enacted at the start of her term in 1986, after she was installed as president through the combined efforts of defense and military officials appointed by President Marcos, the Catholic Church, and the United States. It was meant to prevent one single family—like the Marcos family—from controlling the country.

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1987 CHARTER DID NOT ELIMINATE POLITICAL DYNASTIES: But, a reading of the Cory Aquino Constitution which is supposed to slay political dynasties to enable the Filipino people to have a fair chance of being elected to a government office despite their poverty or marginal status—in other words, for the Philippines to have a more democratic base for government—will show that her Charter actually upholds dynasties in politics.

The undeniable fact is that Section 26, Art. II of the 1987 Constitution, itself contains an antidote, as it were, against the prohibition against political dynasties. This antidote is found in the phrase “as maybe defined by law.”

This phrase is innocuous enough, and appears unimportant in the fight against politicians who have mobilized their spouses, children, siblings and even their parents to perpetuate their control of the positions in their localities. Yet, by that one single phrase, the Cory Aquino government assured that there is not going to be any automatic elimination of dynasties.

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CAMPAIGN VS. POLITICAL DYNASTIES EMPTY RHETORIC: Why is this so? The answer is simple: with the phrase “as maybe defined by law”, the government of Cory Aquino imposed the almost insurmountable obstacle to fighting political dynasties, which is the prior passage of law by lawmakers in the House of Representatives and by the Senate who, even in 1986, were already steeped in dynasty-politics.

Indeed, did the Cory Aquino government really believed that the lawmakers during her time whose families already controlled almost all positions in their provinces, towns, and cities, would come up with a law that would remove their source of power and privilege, political and economic?

It was clear then as it is still very clear now that the Cory Aquino government’s  campaign against political dynasties was mere lip service, an empty rhetoric, and a promise intended merely to prompt people to vote for her. The proof of all these is the fact that until now, there is still no law that had been passed against political dynasties.

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PLEASE WATCH OR LISTEN: “Tambalang Batas at Somintac”, a news-commentary radio program, aired at DZEC 1062 kHz and other Radyo Agila provincial stations, at http://www.eaglebroadcasting.net/radyoagila and at www.youtube.com (type DZEC Radyo Agila Tambalang Batas at Somintac 1062 Live), 6 to 7 in the morning, Philippine time. Phone: 0922 833 43 96, 0918 574 0193, 0977 805 9058. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com.