Canlas: ConCom - A benign usurpation

THE Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to draft a New Constitution is another windfall at the behest of the President. At the outset, it is not the creation of the ConCom itself that is significant but the quality of its composition. Obviously, the members thereof are chosen on the basis of their proven competence, integrity, patriotism and dedicated service in government, private sector and the academe. They are nationalists Rockstars in the mould of Dr. Jose Rizal, Jose Abad Santos, Claro Recto and Eva Estrada Kalaw that can truly gift the Filipino People the long-sought but elusive political document that can bring about genuine social and economic equity in Philippine Society. This is what the President singly has in mind when he created the ConCom. And making sure the members thereof are always guided by the popular saying: The singer(s) not the song. It is inspiring that the ConCom, this early, is proving itself worthy of the trust and expectation of the present and future generations of compatriots.

For one, the ConCom has already addressed the task of greatest urgency: that of coming out with the proposed text to concretize the Anti-Dynasty provision of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Indubitably, the Anti-Dynasty issue is a flagship dynamics in nation-building. The self-evident fact is that from its inception in 1987 and failure to effectuate the same through appropriate legislation—the gap between the poor who are numerous and the few rich has widened and is enlarging. And it appears that the families identified with local political dynasties belong to this privileged few. This explains, to all the sundry, the timidity to enact a law that would dislodge political dynasty. Only a fish appears to possess the GOD—given power to swim against the current.

Luckily, the ConCom, a well-spring in the desert has recently come up with a definition of the Anti-Dynasty component of the Constitution. Hopefully, its adoption, either, by statutory enactment or Constitutional amendment will pave the way for the smooth sailing of the need to amend the Supreme Law.

As envisaged, the main justification for amending the present Constitution is to replace the current unitary, highly centralized form of government to a Federal System. It is persuasively argued that Federalism will permit the dispersal of the present over-concentration of power in Imperial Manila in deciding the economic fate of the various regions comprising the Philippine Archipelago. Thus, the Federal set-up intends to confer greater discretion to the envisioned Regional Centers in the development, utilization and enjoyment of their domestic resources, short of abdicating their ties and obligations to uphold the national interest.

Anyway, the creation of the ConCom reminds me of what Dr. Henry Kissinger, a former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State said during the time of US President Richard M. Nixon, he said: “Power abhors vacuum. If the entrusted one does not exercise it, someone will do it for him.” This is to say that considering the Philippine Congress since 1987 failed in its sovereign assignment to pass a law in obedience with Anti-dynasty provision of the present Constitution, at least, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte did through the creation of the Consultative Committee. What a benign usurpation!
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