[This blog has a new domain: http://philippineaffairs.com/]
Philippine politics can be best described as evolving. It has not yet reached maturity. At best, Philippine politics is patronage politics. The type of politics that is dependent on the number of favors you extended to different individuals or groups, regardless of moral consideration — “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Politicians are more servants of their own will rather than servants of the people’s will. Ironically, invoking the people’s will, particularly of the downtrodden masses, is a common theme of political rhetoric. Politicians would blatantly declare themselves defenders of the poor when in fact most of them are the direct reasons why the poor never seem to rise from their miserable situation. Instead of teaching the poor to be dependent on government dole-outs or encouraging false hope through gambling (the lotto version of jueteng is an example of this), politicians should focus on providing means of livelihood and greater access to capital. Many would-be entrepreneurs, especially small and medium entrepreneurs, will find themselves entangled by the long-winding bureaucratic red tape thereby stunting economic growth.
Philippine politics is about promises that are not meant to be kept. Philippine politics is about false representation of solutions to national problems.
Many Filipinos today are jobless and hungry. Filipinos do not need long-winding rhetoric or empty promises. Filipinos do not see the prospect of changing the constitution as a realistic or pragmatic solution to poverty, insurgency, disunity, alienation, corruption, government inefficiency and other hordes of problems that the country is experiencing right now.
The move to change the constitution is a political tactic of the politicians to perpetuate themselves in power. Constitutional changes will only deprive of the people of many of their rights. Changing the constitution will most likely only serve the interest of the politicians.
The proposal of changing the presidential system to parliamentary will only benefit those who are already in power. The people will loss the right to choose the leader of this country. The legislative department would just be a stamping pad of a strong a chief executive — a chilling scenario that can lead to another dictatorship. Conversely, a domineering legislature will only make a puppet chief executive. This is very dangerous considering the profile of the greedy law-makers (lawbreakers is the term which seem to be more appropriate).
Philippine politicians should first address the more pressing problems rather than to dabble with the fundamental law of the land.
We, Filipinos, must protect the integrity of the constitution. The constitution is our only shield against political abuses. We should not allow the politicians to take away the freedom that we have won 20 years ago! The 1986 constitution may have its flaws, but correcting these flaws right now is not a viable solution to the present problems that we are experiencing.
If safeguarding the integrity of the constitution will mean participating in the parliament of the streets, then, perhaps it is now time to convene before the power gluttons in congress and Malacanan make their moves.