Time to dance the CHA-CHA!

Posted: January 12, 2011 in Charter change, Cory Aquino, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics, Reynato Puno, Tita Cory

Yesterday at the UP College of Law, former Supreme Court Chief Justice and now member of the UP Board of Regents Reynato Puno opined that now is the best time to amend the country’s constitution.

Former SCCJ Reynato Puno

Puno made the declaration after President Noynoy Aquino announced that Charter change (Cha-Cha) was not among his administration’s top priorities.  In a straightforward manner, he said that the current charter had spawned a frail state–crippled  by a weak electoral system, social inequalities, and most importantly, by a politically vulnerable judiciary.

I agree with the former chief justice that changes to the basic law of the land must be done now.  I will also add that it should be initiated by President Noynoy and he must nurture the process to a satisfactory conclusion.

The time is now when the political capital of Noynoy is at its peak.   Especially after he declared that he will not seek any other post after his term ends in 2016–unlike some people we know.

Puno in fact remarked that now is the time to talk about Cha-cha when the President has “pristine intentions.”

In my opinion, the exact nature of Noynoy’s intentions may not be that important since we do not have any way of ascertaining what they are.  However, what is crucial is the perception of such intentions and to the extent that he currently enjoys high trust ratings, one can conclude that he is widely perceived to be indeed pristine.

President Noynoy with Tita Cory's portrait behind him

Previous attempts to amend the charter have been rebuffed since the chief executive proposing it was perceived to be doing so for self-serving purposes.  Now is the only time since 1987 that the President is seen to have different intentions.  For this reason, if Noynoy pushes for charter change, then it could get greater traction this time around.

My unsolicited opinion: President Noynoy should not think that championing charter change will be a betrayal of his mother’s legacy.  I forward the opinion that Tita Cory opposed Cha-cha in the past because she knew–in fact, felt it instinctively in her guts–that the previous proponents were motivated by less-than-noble intentions.

Tita Cory, I believe, will not opposed a Cha-cha pushed by President Noynoy.

I ask President Noynoy to open the process for charter change.

Why? That will be the subject of my next blog entries.



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