do not delete 3

as for the pro-chacha argument that it is the prerogative of the legislature to initiate charter change if it so desires or deems necessary, and that we the people should allow the legislative process to proceed and wait until the proposed amendments have been crafted and agreed upon by both houses (voting separately of course) before we start the protests — well, yeah, that’s what happened back in 1970-73.   we allowed a constitutionalconvention, and then marcos declared martial law, and the constitution was tailor-made to his requirements, and it was “approved” not by a plebiscite but by hakot assemblies.   burned once, twice shy.

as for the the “need” to update the constitution, sez who?   conrado de quiros is so right:

. . . why change the Charter at all?

Shifting from a presidential to a parliamentary system, which is the only change Malacañang can be interested in as it would allow Arroyo to become prime minister, means nothing. The merits of a parliamentary government are theoretical, its demerits are practical. Its advantages are on paper, its disadvantages are in plain view. Even as we speak, we can see its infinite dangers in our very efforts to repudiate Con-ass. In a Con-ass, only the congressmen will vote to amend the Constitution, or all legislators – senators and congressmen – may have only one vote. We know that if that happens, Congress will act like a Mafia, as it did when it voted to kill the impeachment bids against Arroyo, and ram through Arroyo’s will on us.

Imperfect as it is, the existence of a Senate and House of Representatives is infinitely preferable to a National Assembly. Take it from Ferdinand Marcos’ Batasang Pambansa [National Legislature], or what we used to call “Bastusang Pambansa.” That is all it will be.

Indeed, far more basically, why keep inventing new constitutions when we don’t followthem anyway? Why keep manufacturing or foisting new laws-a constitution is merely the highest law of the land-when we don’t obey them anyway? First, let us reward the innocent and punish the guilty, then let’s change the Constitution. First, let us have clean elections and legitimate leaders, then let’s change the Constitution. First, let us give the Constitution a chance, then let’s change the Constitution.”


  1. Well, angela, I’ve just been to Rom’s blog ang posted long comments about the issue. Meron ka palang running series dito.

    Foreign ownership of land to guarantee more investors is a fallacy. A fat lie. The ambassador’s story and that of Pat Mangubat are actually confirms my theory that I have posted here and in other blogs that the Mafia will have to device ways to keep their money inside the country and launder it via their dummy companies registered abroad. I even had a brief exchange of emails with a journalist regarding dummy companies now lording it over the oil exploration and energy businesses. BTW, Ashmore, as mentioned by Pat Mangubat, is presently undertaking negotiations to buy the 40 plus percent interest of the government in Petron. (now you know why pump prices have not gone down only in the Philippines, huh?) Pretty soon, they will go full-blast in mining (they have started with ZTE in Mt. Diwalwal and that one in Zambales by Mike Defensor), then tourist destinations and finally residential and commercial real estate, the works!

    If you will allow me, let me post my comments at smoke’s.

    I’ve talked to quite a few foreign businessmen who said they would prefer to own land for their businesses but when pressed for an answer if they could achieve the same output if they only leased the land, the discussion would usually end up with an admission that they actually prefer to own real property only.

    The usual reasons are it is cheaper to build and maintain their own houses than live in hotels or condos which are very expensive in the cities, but are wanting in many facilities when their businesses are located in remote areas.

    I’m not sure if that reason goes for all the other investors. But in THAT case, I would allow foreigners owning RESIDENTIAL LAND.

    Now, do we really need to change the constitution just to sell houses and lots to foreigners?

    In mining, it’s a different thing. Usually, adjacent lands to mining sites are bought (or leased) to secure the mine from intrusion once commercial viability is determined post-exploration. Small miners usually dig from the fringes of a site after a substantial deposit in the area is confirmed. Some mines also enter into contracts with landowners for purely profit-sharing schemes without seeing any activity even until much later. The strategy is to limit the available land that may be contracted by competitors. In any case, the land can be LEASED without having any effect on their operations or bottom lines. No need to buy the land.
    Ditto for corporate large-scale plantations and livestock farms.

    If they can package a very tempting offer to buy land, they can do the same to lease it.

    Sec. Favila has already signed a contract to lease one million hectares of agricultural land to China. ( Over at Manolo’s, someone said it’s the size of about three Visayan provinces. Newsbreak says its 10% of all our agri land. I can’t imagine selling three provinces to ONE foreign buyer if the China contract had allowed a sale. How much would the Japanese buy? Two million hectares? The Americans, four million? How much would Spratlys fetch? How about Sabah? Could we sell the whole of Mindanao to UAE?

    Look, who will guarantee we’re not selling huge parcels of land to someone, say, a Mr. William Saunders or a Ms. Jane Ryan, Raul Gonzales?

    And again, in reply to rom’s reply to jester:

    if you don’t know it yet, many of the popular high-end island resorts are covered by 25-year leases and this doesn’t stop determined investors from attracting jet-set clientele from visiting the resorts.

    Andy Soriano has leased Amanpulo to the Indonesian Aman chain and yes they are profitable even if they do not own the island. Ten Knots, which used to own Manila Garden Hotel (later Nikko, now Dusit) operates El Nido. Ten Knots is a Japanese company. Another Japanese company runs Club Noah, also in Northern Palawan. The same with those in Busuanga, Coron, Puerto Galera, and several others. They do not need to own the land to be profitable, after all it’s the profit that counts.

    It’s not a question of taking away land from the natives. On the other hand, it is more beneficial if the locals earn from the lease at the same time, get employed by the lessees. Many farmers in Calabarzon became instant millionaires after selling their lands to industrial subdivisions and EPZAs about two decades ago. Where are they now?

    With the reasons I enumerated and those you quoted from columnists, that ambassador is surely spot on when he says this is the only place where the obvious doesn’t seem what it should be.

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