Press Statement – June 3, 2009
Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares, 0917.8350459
Temporary Office: BESIDE Room 416, Ramon V. Mitra Bldg.,
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Con Ass Resolution allows GMA to stay in power beyond 2010
Last night’s railroading of House Resolution 1109 upon Palace orders after the Lakas-Kampi merger, is added evidence that Mrs. Arroyo seeks to extend her stay in office beyond her constitutional term.
The House majority’s trampling of all opposition, including scuttling mere debates on the issue, is an ominous foreboding of the kind of Constitution we will have – a repressive Constitution that will open up the country to perpetual slavery under Mrs. Arroyo, transnational corporations and the United States.
The “covenant” of those who supported HR 1109 not to propose the extension of Mrs. Arroyo’s term is a “scrap of paper” since it does not have any legal effect. No congressional resolution can bind a constitutionally-superior body like the Constituent Assembly since it has the power not merely to amend laws but to tinker with the Constitution.
The so-called “commitment” by its authors that Mrs. Arroyo’s term will not be extended is empty since the resolution did not state that it will not tinker with Section 4, Article 7 which states that “The President shall not be eligible for any reelection.”
The Constituent Assembly can delete protective economic provisions and allow Mrs. Arroyo to run for president in the 2010 elections. With the backing of the military and a huge amount of financial and political resources, Mrs. Arroyo can run roughshod over any opposition in 2010.
HR 1109 was not subjected to debate and genuine consultations. It was passed by a mere “simple majority” of those present instead of the Constitutional requirement that any proposal to revise the Constitution must be approved by at least a three-fourths vote of all its members. The convening of the constituent assembly, since it forms part of the proposal to amend the Constitution, should be passed by the same three-fourths vote.
Considering the constitutional requirement of a two-thirds vote of all the members of Congress to convene a Constitutional Convention, it is absurd for Pres. Arroyo’s allies to convene a Constituent Assembly by a mere simple majority vote. A simple majority vote in the House only requires a minimum of 68 votes from a quorum of 135.
The people have no other option but to express the same outrage shown in 2006 when we stopped House Resolution 197 which is practically the same con ass proposal railroaded last night. House Resolution 1109 is a dangerous measure that the people must vigorously oppose. #
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