editorial.7.18.18


IT is a widely accepted democratic dictum that either amending or changing the Constitution weakens the institutions of government of a country.

The Philippines, with the enforced Constitution of 1987, is in the process of replacing its fundamental law.

According to President Rodrigo Duterte, he wants to change the structure of government to a federal system without a clear or convincing explanation as to what and why.

Mr. Duterte simply wants to do it.

He is about to endorse a draft of a new “Philippine Federal Constitution” to Congress which will constitute itself into a Constituent Assembly for approval of the draft after its revisions are incorporated.

Then, to the Filipino people in a plebiscite.

The United States Constitution has been enforced for 229 years since ratification.

Yet, it has been amended only 27 times.

None of the amendments attempted to change America’s system of government.

The unwritten British Constitution is 329 years old.

Never did they attempt to shift from their parliamentary system.

The Philippine Constitution is only 31 years old and, yet, some of its current officials want to change it.

Twice in the past, we wrote in this space our opinion that there was no compelling reason at this time to amend, much less, replace, the Philippine Constitution.

In fact, Pulse Asia, in a survey of Filipinos conducted from June 15 to 21, 2018 found that 62% of Filipinos don’t want federal system of government now.

The same survey found that only two out of 10 Filipinos agree that the 1987 Constitution should be revised at this time.

There are existing Philippine laws about local autonomy, fiscal independence, term limits anti-dynasty.

What are needed are implementing rules and guidelines so that huge expenses to be incurred in implementing a new Constitution that could even negatively affect the nation’s Gross Domestic Product can be avoided.

So long as Filipinos are united in their commitment to the democratic dogmas and values enshrined in their present Constitution, the move to change its Constitution will not succeed.

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