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The true purpose of Sigaw ng Bayan?

Posted in Politics and Culture by juned on the October 25th, 2006

The People Initiative lost its petition by a vote of one and it was based on the fact that the Lambino and company failed to present a complete copy of the proposed amendments to the signatories. Supporters of Charter Change may decry that they lost on mere technicalities. However, it should be noted that this technicalities or procedures need to be followed faithfully to guarantee ,on the whole, a fair shake and control against abuse. A judgement against in this case, based on insufficiency in form, does not merit a rhetorical pooh pooh.

The nature of the judgement though should give pause to the opponents of charter change. It would seem that the fate of any legal action against charter change hangs on a majority of one. The one that is going to retire. It is a delicate majority that can easily be overwhelmed by a people initiative in sufficient form or a legislative action based on a critical failure in the 1998 Constitution that forgot to specify that constitutional changes could be done if the prescribed majority were reached by the legislature, and not a separate majority in both houses.

Events of today gives one a moment of pause to rethink as to what was the purpose of the People’s Initiative. Is its true task to change the charter? Maybe, it was a harbinger of change, a stalking horse that preceded the agent of change. Whether the People’s Initiative was a stalking horse or a political movement (used to enact changes in the Constitution) one thing seems to be clear the battle is not yet over. And the Supreme Court might have just defined a way change this constitution and the country’s form of government.

4 Responses to 'The true purpose of Sigaw ng Bayan?'

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  1. [...] Mga Diskurso ni Doy cautions that the Palace must have been prepared for the possibility of defeat, and has been redoubling its efforts to achieve victory in the May 2007 elections. Uniffors says Raul Lambino was “pimp-slapped.”  baratillo@cubao gives a more measured response and suggests this is merely round 1 in a prolonged fight. Comelec AKO asserts the language employed by Justice Carpio was intemperate and even tasteless -certainly, he says, unnecessary. [...]

  2. Blackshama said, on October 27th, 2006 at 5:13 pm

    The Supreme Court correctly noticed that their people’s initiative petition to amend the constiution is insufficient in form. Legal form requires that the whole text of the proposed amendments be printed on the signature sheets. Non-lawyers like many of us may think that this is incidental but as Thomas More said to his favourite daughter Margaret, “what do the words say?”. More who was take Henry VII’s Act of Supremacy (which by the way is one of the major documents of the English constitution), wanted to know if he can take the oath and affix his signature. History tells us that because of the words, he couldn’t take the oath. But before Norfolk asked him to sign, the whole text of the Act was shown to More. For refusing to sign, Henry had More’s head on a spike on London Bridge. The Words will tell lawyers how to get around the intention while respecting the form.

    Isn’t it before you agree to a contract, you have to read the words first? This is not just a legal tenet but an ethical one. Lambino and co. have treated the people who signed the petition as idiots by asking them to sign without them reading the whole text of the amendments word for word. This is at the root of the decision. Lambino really deserves the harsh words of the court. I have no sympathy for these petitioners.

    Opponents of charter change can only hope that justices in the future will take seriously their oath to construe according to the law. Nonetheless, in our democratic system, it is really the responsibility of the highest Court to legally define or interpret and discern what the constitution really means.

  3. Rico said, on October 31st, 2006 at 12:44 am

    You know, this comment may be off-topic, but I am sick and tired of organizations claiming they’re the “voice of the people,” the “people’s party,” and other similar names. I tend to distrust them, since they have no problem making the sweeping generalization that their actions are the “people’s will.”

  4. juned said, on October 31st, 2006 at 8:16 am

    BS, Insufficiency in form may be by design, by stupidity, or a marked a partnership gone awry.

    Rico, You are preaching to the chorus :)

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