Who will now dare touch the Cory Constitution?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-08-04

Make no mistake about it. The 1987 “Freedom Constitution” that the Con-Asses (promoters of Charter change via Constituent Assembly or Con-Ass) want to change is also known as the Cory Constitution.

It is a Constitution that marked the transition from a dictatorship to a democracy. It is one of the hallmarks of Cory C. Aquino’s greatness — when she rushed to shed off revolutionary powers and pushed her country to the quickest route to democracy.

As a sequel to a period of dictatorship, the Cory Constitution was protective of civil rights and established checkpoints that will limit the capacity of future rulers from ever imposing martial law again with the same ease that Ferdinand E. Marcos was able to do it.

The Cory Constitution also wanted to break the oligarchs’ domination of political power. It set shorter terms for Congressmen and local government executives — from four to three years. It also set a maximum of three consecutive terms for the same public offices. Senators were limited to two consecutive terms of six years each while a president was only allowed a single term of six years.

It carried anti-dynasty provisions that a Congress which was dominated by the oligarchs did not allow to bear fruit by simply not passing an enabling law.

It enshrined People Power as a democratic means that a free people can always exercise when the other institutions fail to provide the demands of the majority.

Its critics — the Con-Asses who are mostly from the oligarchy — now criticize the Cory Constitution as too “nationalistic” and claim that it prevents the country from grabbing a good chunk of foreign investments. In truth, their corruption is the single biggest reason why foreign investors shy away from our country. We are pathetically one of the few countries where to be nationalistic is to be looked down upon!

They propose to allow foreigners to buy land which they say will encourage them to invest here. They conveniently overlooked the fact that in China and Vietnam, which have been very successful in attracting foreign investors, foreigners are not allowed to own land.

They care not if Asians overflowing with money like the South Koreans and the Chinese, who are already buying land here under dummy corporations, can end up buying the entire country or driving the prices of land beyond what Filipinos can afford. Only people who are offended by nationalism will want to do that.

But then, all this chatter of economic provisions that will propel the economy is nothing but a façade for their real intention to write a new Constitution that will consolidate their monopoly of political and economic powers. Their real goals are longer term periods and the removal of term limits.

They also want to consolidate legislative and executive powers under the new Parliament which they will control.
If Cory gave us a Freedom Constitution, what the Con-Asses want to sell us is nothing short of a “Shackle Constitution.” If you are sick and tired of them now, wait until you see what life will be like in a Parliament under them.

But just like the best laid plans of mice and men (as Robbie Burns put it) — the Con-Asses have been sideswiped by the hand fate just recently dealt. God, it seems, decided to intervene. Life and death are both in the hands of God and from all indications, God has decided to use His loyal child Cory to point the way anew for us Filipinos.

Mark how the anti-People Power forces have been saying that the Spirit of EDSA had long departed, that Filipinos can no longer be encouraged to pour out into the streets and clamor for regime change or real reforms. In the light of the outpouring of love and appreciation for all that Cory did for us Filipinos — they can no longer say that.

Their biggest problem now is that the Cory C. Aquino — whom they had been belittling as passé — may have become more powerful in death than she ever was in life. How can they now cope with a Cory who is no longer in this world? How can you still attempt to discredit the Cory that practically all the top world leaders (including the Pope) have praised and virtually enshrined in the pantheon of great world leaders?

They’ve tried to vilify Cory ever since she asked Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) to resign in July 2005 in the wake of the Garci Tapes scandal. Cory was no stranger to vilification attempts which she suffered under the Marcos dictatorship and during her term as president. But she never felt the viciousness that was inflicted on her by the GMA regime.

Last Sunday, daughter Kris narrated the most recent act of pettiness and harassment they underwent — the removal of Cory’s assigned security personnel which the State owes every former president.

Are we surprised that Cory’s family opted not to have a State funeral? Can we blame only son, Senator Noynoy Aquino, from discouraging GMA, in so many words, from attending the wake and the funeral?

If there is anything that Cory finds most repulsive in a person, it is hypocrisy. In death, Cory’s detractors should at least spare her and her loved ones their hypocrisy.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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