Carvajal: Dubious legacy

WITH the self-executing provisions banning dynasties, setting up systems of genuine political parties, and insuring proportionate representation, the ConCom (Consultative Commission on Charter Change) stands squarely on the social analysis that exclusive control of the nation’s policy-making bodies by an elite few is right at the very core of what ails Philippine society.

Those essential provisions must, therefore, be in the new charter or federalism will be as useful to the country’s forward movement as flat tires to a car’s. The other provisions for fiscal federalism (who collects what and spends for what, how compete and how equalize), local autonomy (how many federated regions), and bureaucracy (lean or fat) are not as critical for enabling the marginalized masses to get into the mainstream of Filipino political and economic life.

Yet the final draft is still to be worked out. What one can do meanwhile is work for the retention and fine-tuning of those provisions. Like a senate that is elected at large and representing neither a sector nor a region has really no meaningful and useful place in a truly representative democracy be it in a unitary or federal form of government.

So how can former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. oppose federalism when even the non-critical provisions he objects to are far from final? Besides, to claim that the 1987 Constitution is good enough and just needs to be fully implemented is to skim the surface of our social problem, a weak brainstorm unworthy of the mental depth of a former Chief Justice.

What political blinkers could possibly be blindsiding him to the clear-as-crystal truth that the 1987 Constitution’s ban on political dynasties will never be implemented because their representatives control both houses and will never enact a law to implement the ban and thus loosen their grip on the nation’s economy and politics.

That is precisely why the final draft of the federal constitution should be done by a constitutional convention and not (rushed?) by a constituent assembly. Both houses are dominated by representatives of political dynasties that might just come up with cosmetic changes to the 1987 Constitution.

Like many Cebuanos, I look up to former Chief Justice Davide for the heights of success he has reached. Yet, it is precisely this high esteem people hold for him that now constrains me to call him out on his uncharacteristically shallow reasons for opposing federalism. People might just take his word for it.

I wish I could remember him for his pure legacy as Chief Justice. But now, I am afraid he is handing down the dubious legacy of opposing a charter that could, if done right, liberate the Filipino masses from virtual slavery.

Source: Local News

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