THERE is no cause for argument that the Congress may propose amendment/revision of the Philippine Constitution. In which case, it requires a vote of three—fourths of all its members and transform the Congress into a Constituent Assembly with themselves to undertake the nitty-gritty of refashioning the present Constitution. Depending on the agenda of the members of that August Body, the outcome could be a minor or major surgery, so to speak.
In any event, even assuming that the present residents of Congress can boast of performance that genuinely addressed gripping poverty and the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor, the task of effecting major restructuring of the Constitution must be reserved to the Filipino people in their total sovereign capacity. Accordingly, the power of Congress to effect change in the Constitution is subordinate in character-delimited to minor modification, such as, the fleshing out of much-needed implementing details to effectively achieve the intent of a particular standing provision of the Highest Law of the Land. Definitely, altering the political structure of the government from a unitary/centralized form to a Federal system is in itself a major revision of the Constitution with far-reaching consequences—a life-changing one at that.
A written Constitution, like ours, contains fundamental principles or rules for the government of a nation or society that establishes basic guidelines and a framework for orderly procedure to achieve the Commonweal. It is conceived precisely to promote national harmony, unity, stability and equity. If only for this reason, a Constitution must not only inspire a sense of civic duty and love of country. Above all, a Constitution must command respect and obedience without which the attainment of social justice through the full harnessing of the nation’s rich human and natural resources will be in perpetual peril.
Thus, any move to institute major shift in political governance, e.g., from unitary to federalism, no matter how compelling, necessitates the full and direct participation of the governed. Hence, the envisioned shift in political structure through the facility of a Constituent Assembly is a usurpation of sovereignty. As a democratic state, it is the people who are sovereign and no dictatorship, individual or institutional, should prevail in our midst.
To recapitulate while, concededly, the Federal System will set into motion the engine of growth by empowering local elective officials to craft the relevant master-plan for the development and utilization of their own resources, the ascendancy of Federalism must be blessed with the direct and exhaustive participation of the sovereign people who are the trustees of the coming generation. To this end, members of Congress are duty-bound to visit our country folks to explain the benefits of a Federal System of government as a practical vehicle for the upliftment of their standards of living under a regime of peace, democracy, justice, truth and unity.
P.S. Thank you very much to the family of the late Moises and Apung SelangP angan for donating P150,000 for the installation of a huge ceiling fan in our Chapel. GOD BLESS YOU AND THE PEOPLE OF STA. MONICA, SAN SIMON.