ChaCha via ConCon

If results proceed from party dynamics – in both chambers of Congress – nothing can obstruct the legislative passage of charter change via either a revision or an amendment in the constitution. Truth is, the Senate already has its counterpart measure while the House of Representatives is almost about done with its own version.

For fact is, however sad, in a 25 August 2009 congressional hearing, the draft house concurrent resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention has been voted 6-1 in favor. Voting, repeated many times over, will always yield this configuration which virtually means that there is probably just one lost soul in a community of revering adherents of charter change.

ConAss is just lying around the corner after it has been met with public resistance especially were it was launched on the day GMA delivered her 9th and final State of the Nation Address.

This time, the draft House concurrent resolution at the committee level has been voted 6-1 in favor of calling for a Constitutional Convention or ConCon to propose amendments to, or revision of, the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Again, it is as if, nobody knew about it – or those who are anti-ConAss are no witness to this political development.

One day, realpolitik will just wake up with a ConCon already legislated such that no amount of public protests could shake the solid legal ground upon which the whole edifice – a grand, utopian charter change law – rests.

The Committee on Constitutional Amendments went through the ritual of discussing every “whereases” in the HCR (house concurrent resolution) with the party-list representatives and Rep. Golez all trying to dish out the flaws in the construction. And the chairman is always heard to have said the famous line – “noted”. The records will show what were in the minds of the framers when such a law has been deliberated upon and it is important that the journal is a faithful representation of every question asked and every answer issued out.

Thus, while the draft HCR is already voted upon, the Committee chose to go through the nitty gritty of the work of the Technical Working Group as reflected in its consensus-arrived-at Comparative Matrix which they took up one section at a time. There are 19 sections to discuss and given the ordinary time constraints, the Committee has stopped at Section 9 until the next meeting – come 8 September.

The committee will get back at Section 2 on its next committee hearing or on the composition of the ConCon delegates since an important point has been raised on the mandated sectoral representation and the other point on the partisan or non-partisan character of such participation. In fact, Rep. Domogan resented the requirement of a mere ‘able to read and write’ as already sort of unholding for the position of a ConCon delegate or more so with that of the president.

There is also the other matter on whether one who files his candidacy must ipso fact resign from the party he belongs to as a way to do away with the possible violation on partisanship. And within the limited time allowed for such a hearing before Session starts at its regular afternoon session, the committee did also delve on the issue of per diem as to how much should it be. They seem to have agreed on a P2,000 per diem actual attendance.

While Rep. Colmenares appears sharp in some given instances, still, it betrays his knowledge of other aspects of law and lawmaking in the way he asked some questions and it is in this department that the pro-administration lawyers enjoy a stronger edge against their contrarian counterparts or the largely leftist-party list pack.

There is no such thing as a “balance of power” in so far as this House is concerned. They have long held to it for so many, many years and it still is their kingdom – no end.