Analysis by Raïssa Robles
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez today confirmed the scenario I laid out on New Year’s Eve about President Rodrigo Duterte turning from a democratically elected leader into an authoritarian ruler.
Let me decode for you what Alvarez and his Senate counterpart, Senate President Koko Pimentel, said today about the planned constitutional changes of Duterte’s ruling PDP-Laban party.
I said in my post entitled “2018 is key to Duterte’s grab for authoritarian powers” that I was pretty sure they would place the proposed charter change as a rider to the barangay elections this year.
This morning, Alvarez told Karen Davila, anchor of Headstart, that the referendum for constitutional change will coincide with the barangay elections this May.
Alvarez confirmed what I wrote that a transitory government would be needed to shift from one form of government to another. I wrote that Duterte would head that transitory government. And by doing so, this would open up the possibility of Duterte setting up authoritarian rule.
Alvarez told Karen Davila,
“I have to be frank…Anything is possible.”
“You know why? Let’s be practical.
Pag nag shift ka into a different form of government, unitary to federal, you need a transition government. hindi mo pwedeng basta inaprubahan mo ng Mayo, implement mo agad yan.” [When you shift into a different form of government, unitary to federal, you need a transition government. You can’t just approve it this May, and implement it at once.]
Davila did not follow up by asking Alvarez whether this could lead instead to a shift to one-man rule. Still, Alvarez’s answer that “anything is possible” under a transitory government is pregnant with meaning.
Senate President Koko, separately told reporters in a mobile text message that President Duterte would need to head the transitory government and his term may be extended if necessary and—according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer—if he’s “amenable”.
Koko: Federalism may extend Duterte’s term, ‘if he’s amenable’
In his text message to Senate reporters, Senate President Koko said:
“2, If he’s amenable to it and 3. Since that extension will be part of the new Constitution, the new Constitution is approved by the people themselves.”
President Koko implied that there was nothing sinister planned. He stressed that “The objective is federalism. That’s all.”
Duterte government extends to senators the carrot to ‘No-El’ next year
Senate President Koko of course denied that mid-term elections next year would not push through. He said,“We can shift to federalism and allow all scheduled elections under the existing constitution to go on and be held.”
But House Speaker Alvarez bluntly said: “I have to be frank…Anything is possible.”
Alvarez instead extended a carrot to the senators whose term would be expiring next year but who wanted to run again:
“Remember ha, yung senators kasi yung termino nila, hindi sabay-sabay mag e-expire. May mag e-expire sa 2019, may mag e-expire sa 2022. In fairness siguro mas maganda pag pina-expire mo lahat sa 2022 para wala ka ng utang…” [Remember, the term of the senators do not expire all at the same time. Some or 12 seats expire in 2019, and the other 12 seats in 2022, so let’s extend everybody’s term to 2022 so that we won’t owe any of them any unexpired tenure.]
Because anyway you look at it, who in his right mind would spend millions of pesos running for a position that was just abolished by a newly-approved Constitution?
Alvarez’s formula seems such a neat way to avoid political squabble and impasse. Just extend the tenure of the 12 senators whose terms are expiring in 2019.
It is also a clever way to avoid the possibility of the Senate having more opposition senators being elected into office come 2019. This would keep the present balance of power in Congress, which is today heavily tilted toward President Duterte.
Speaker Alvarez’s answer to the question—whether the Senate would be dissolved—was very revealing. He replied that senators could run for other posts.
“Kelangan ba Senado lang ang kanilang tatakbuhan? Pwede ka namang tumakbo kung ano man yung legislative branch na maki create ng bagong Saligang Batas, dun sila tumakbo. Tumakbo silang Presidente…” [Is it necessary that they run only for the position of senator? Anyway you can run for a seat in the legislature that’s going to be created under the new Constitution. That’s where they should run. They can run (as well) for President.]
From what Alvarez said, we can infer that their proposed legislature is a one-chamber or unicameral body without any Upper House or Senate.
From our experience with the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, a unicameral assembly is easier to manipulate and control than the present two-chamber body.
And from our experience with the Senate, it is mainly that body that makes the sitting President accountable; that checks the abuses of the Executive branch because the Constitution gave it ample oversight powers.
The Cha-Cha train is now in motion. Only the people can stop it.
You might be wondering why I am against this kind of constitutional change when Duterte means well.
The short answer is—because this form of government is so prone to abuse and corruption. To those challenging me to prove it, just read my book Marcos Martial Law: Never Again, a brief history of torture and atrocity under the New Society.
The abuse and corruption will take your breath away.
drll down says
Johnny Lin says
FAKE NEWS and SMOKE CREENS
DUTERTE people are spreading FAKE NEWS disguised as SMOKE SCREEN to fool the entire Filipino population.
Train Law is the worst economic stimulus being fed to poor FILIPINOS by pegging that the poor worker will benefit from it by NOT paying income taxes ANYMORE if their annual income is less than 259,000 pesos annually benefitting FEW FILIPINOS(those reporting their income likesalaried teachers and janitors) . Those who cheat on their taxes by not paying income tax anyway on their low income will NOT be affected by Train. In return, Train imposes higher excise taxes on petroleum/oil products which everyone knows will snowball into higher prices for every goods, commodities, transport and utilities use consumeby all Filipinos, rich and poor. This includes those low in one earners not paying taxes, meaning they are forced to pay tax from the effects of high excise tax.
Dept of Finance Sec Dominguez is calming the public by putting out FAKE NEWS that Trail Law has very little effect on the prices of commodities. This is blatant LIE confirmed by respected economists.
The other FAKE NEWS floated by Duterte men is promoting Federalism that might result in NO ELECTION in 2019. This is a SMOKE SCREEN to prevent widespread discussion by the public of TRAIN LAW effects on higher prices of transport and commodities. Since FILIPINOS are gullible to chatter on anything pointing to politics, this FAKE NEWS of NO EL was conceived by no less than Speaker Alvarez and Senate Près Pinentel, not only to sidetrack the public discourse of Train but also to cover up of sucking the pockets of FILIPINOS of a BAD economic Train Law. Grab,Taxi , bus and jeep operators petitioned LTFRB a to increase their fares but the news was overwhelmed by press releases of NO EL.
2019 election is in May 2019 which is 17 months from now while Onelec has to issue rules of the election by October 2018, 9 months from now. To cancel Election, Con-Ass has to be ratified firsts hitch should be passed both in the House and Senate. Time is short to NO EL based on history of passing laws by current Congress. This is the proof of fake news NO EL. Besides we just celebrated Noel this past Christmas( pun intended)
Mathematical proof that TRAIN LAW is worst economic stimulus to poor workers. Telling the low income that they will benefit from not paying taxes anymore is actually another SMOKE SCREEN to the real effect that their hard earned money is taxed by increasing excise taxes on oil.
There has never been a GOOD history in any nation that raising higher taxes on oil led to LOWER PRICES of commodities and transport. Always the effect was raising prices of everything consumed by paying public. Here is the simple computation:
Let’s say the no income tax for income of 250,000 pesos annually give the taxpayer an 5000 pesos a year in his pocket. It appears a huge sum but when you look at the prices increasing caused by excise tax on oil, “gargantuan” is even a mild manner of expression. Jeep, tricycle, bus, taxi Grab fares will increase from increasing diesel and gasoline prices. Kerosene and LPG will increase prices too. The snowball effects is increase prices of every agricultural. Poultry, can goods, clothes, paper products, etc. prices of cooked food in restaurants, corner turo-turo and Al McDulo carinderias will be forced to increase their viands. Imagine ONLY 50,000 items increasing by TEN CENTS, meaning the prices of staple items paid is 5000 pesos. Since they need staples in their daily lives(more than 50,000 items all year round they will be putting more than 5000 pesos annually. Look at the saving in taxes of the lowly worker, 5000 pesos and increase prices, in this mathematical example. The greater truth is that there are more tha 50,000 items, probably 100,000 goods or more that will increase in price. My causation is only an increase of TEN CENTS PER ITEM but could be more. Jeepneys are asking for 2 pesos increase per ride, citing an example way more than 10 cents.
Don’t be fooled by FAKE NEWS and SMOKE SCREENS!
Discuss effects of TRAIN LAW, NOT NO ELECTION or CHA CHA or CON ASS.
ASS HOLES who should be shamed are Speaker Alvarez, Sen Pimentel and DOF Sec Dominguez.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
He he he
para sa akin po, train law is not only bad news but also national disaster. it’s punishing the 23million poor. they may not pay tax pero para na rin silang pinabayad ng buhis dahil halos lahat na bibilhin ay tataas ang presyo. tataas ang pamasahe as well as prices of food, pati kuryente tataas din yata.
it’s easy for a very rich man like finance sec dominguez to say na train law will have very little effect on prices of commodities. dominguez has millions to spare kasi and can very well afford the ‘little effects’, but the poor na talagang walang wala gadaigdig ang kalbaryo nila.
train law is buhis for the poor! it’s punishment for the poor.
drug war targets the poor, and now, train law targets the poor as well.
for a man that is pro poor kuno and sleeps in a kulambo, digong is maligning the poor.
I hope you don’t mind… off topic
Hindi ba pinag mamalaki ng administration ng crazy old man that he got a humongous financial aide from China? kung ilan billion dollars daw diba? What happend to this? Nag disappearing act ba, kaya they need TRAIN?
just wondering lang … pasensiya na sa off topic :)
Oo nga pala..sobrang pagmamalaki ng du30 noon na darating na ang bilyones ng china kaya insulto husto sa EU at US aid na hindi daw kailangan nandyan naman ang tsina….ngayong wala pala sa bayan fin pala ang bagsak
. . . and let’s not forget that corporations like mighty corp, phil airlines at ibp also paid back taxes, mighty corp paid 5billions, pal also paid billion in back taxes, mga businesses also paid back taxes, else digong closes their operations, their licenses not renewed. with all that back taxes collected on top of taxes paid by individuals and other businesses this tax year alone, this govt should have been swimming in money! not bangkarote.
so where did all the money go? also, 24 solons did not receive fund this year, surely their allotment mounting to the billions must now go back to treasury. and if treasury put that money in the bank, it must be earning interests by the trillions!
somebodies must be busy salting away tons of money, funding ghost projects, paying ghost workers, paying trolls, constantly traveling between two offices many times a week! accompanied by entourage of workers, personal guards and many other hangers on, a draining on the country’s resources.
also, the military found bundles of money, 900millions yata, of maute money left behind in marawi city. where did this money go?
“Kahit umabot iyan (gastos) ng P400 million, kung ang balik naman ay $35 billion, napakalayo po. Napakaganda ng return on investment,” Andanar said.
ROI – Return of Inibulsa?
sa tagalog o bisayang term tama ba itong conjugation INIBULSA ibig sabihin ay inilagay sa bulsa? correct me if i’m wrong…just asking.
Where is COA in all of This? Meron bang nanglimas ng Treasury?
Di ba iniwan ni Pnoy na may surplus?
Bat biglang wala ng pera para sa NOAA yung weather/flood control initiative tuloy me namatay pa sa nakaraang bagyo sabi ni PAB.
Bat wala ng pera para sa mga solons?
Fundraising ba ang TRAIN?
24 solons did not receive funds for 2018 dahil they questioned digong’s bad policies, contra ejks kasi sila, at anti fake news pa, etc. 24 solons paid high price for voicing opinions contrary to what is floated by the govt, for trying to make the govt honest and for not looking the other way, when majority of their colleagues readily played yesmen/women, applauded and affirmed digong in all his stances including revogovt, federalism, martial law extension in mindanaw, his pro-china leanings, etc.
24 solons became sacrificial lambs and weeks late, train was made into law.
by the way, ang alam ko pnoy left 3+ trillions before stepping down.
digong, andanar or finance sec dominguez should now give update of how the expected 35billions return of investment (roi) is going. show for once that the 400 millions digong spent traveling overseas in the early months of his term was good investment in trade and economic ties. and not just junket to thank supporters like sandra cam and mocha uson and political donors like the marcoses.
SA REKLAMO NAGUUGAT ANG PAGBABAGO
Meron akong kaibigan na nag comment nung isang araw na bakit puna ako ng puna sa Du30 govt mas mainam daw na tanggapin ko na lang total parepareho lang naman ang mga pulitiko. Sabi ko iba itong Du30 govt, pag pinagmasdan mo ng husto. Ibinalik nito ang kabulukan ng Marcos government:
ang pagpatay ng walang pakundangan sa mga walang kayang lumaban, ang pag gastos ng pera ng bayan ng walang accountability, ang pag glorify sa mga katarantaduhan ng mga Marcoses at Arroyo, ang pagpilit na tanggapin ng Pilipino ang federalism na sa totoo lang ay magpapahaba ng family dynasties sa bawat probinsya at city, ang pagbigay buhay sa “transitory government”, istilong ginamit na ni Marcos noon pa na nagpatibay sa pagiging diktador nya at malawakang pagnanakaw ng kaban ng bayan at pagsupil sa kaapatang pangtao.
Sabi nya sumasama lang ang araw ko sa karereklamo, sabi ko hindi naman. Pwede ka namang magreklamo ng nakangiti, na di ka galit. Lalo na kung ang nirereklamo mo yung tungkol sa tamang asal, paggalang sa kapwa at paggalang sa kaban ng bayan, mga bagay na pinatutunayan ng kasaysayan na mahalaga sa ikauunlad ng tao at lipunan. Kaya nga mahalagang merong bumabatikos, merong pumupuna lalo na sa pagpapatakbo ng pamahalaan. Ang hindi pagtanggap ng alam mong mali at pabibigay boses nito sa pamamagitan ng reklamo ay naguusbong ng napipintong pagbabago. Maaring ang minimithing pagbabago ay abutin ng sampu o dalawampung taon ngunit kung ang mga age old values ang pinapanigan mo, freedom, honesty, respect for human rights, transparency, compassion, nasa tamang hanay ka ng kasaysayan. Napatunayan na to ni Mandela, ni Lincoln, ni Rizal, ni Ninoy. Kaya makilahok sa paghabi ng marangal na Mamamayang Pilipino-magreklamo..dito maguugat ang pagbabago….labanan ang pagwasak ng 1987 constitution…
Biglang bumuntonghininga ang kabigan ko at nagisp ng malalim…
Lolita de Guzman says
I wish that I could post this on my Facebook page with the permission of course of Canadadry.
Raissa says: ‘. . . that I was pretty sure they would place the proposed charter change as a rider to the barangay elections this year.’
Why ‘a rider’?
Is it because with a rider, Congress cannot
propose to pass such a bill to ‘change’ into
a federal form of government?
To propose such change into federal
system independently might
not get the people’s [voters’] approval.
A very risky action.
While making such a change into
federal system as a rider with the postponement
of the Barangay elections has a good chance
to pass such proposal, as a rider version.
But this has also invites its unconstitutionality
under ART. VI SEC. 24 of the 1987 Constitution
on how to pass a bill in Congress plus SEC.26
of the same Article.
As ‘a rider’ many or majority of voters
might not even know what they approved.
And not even many members of Congress
might even have read the contents of
the rider version.
Either way, as in no rider, getting
its approval by the people might not get
approved or as a rider the SC might declare the
‘rider’ as in violation of the Constitution,
thus null and void.
As one dissenting OPN in the SC said:
‘The three-reading and no-amendment rules, absent in the US Federal Constitution, but expressly mandated by Article VI, Section 26(2) of our Constitution are mechanisms instituted to remedy the evils inherent in a bicameral system of legislature, including the conference committee system.’ [J. Calleja]
‘ A rider may be attached to a bill in an attempt to sneak through a measure that would not attract majority support if proposed by itself. Sometimes, too, a bill’s opponents may attempt to defeat it by adding a controversial rider.’
Can Congress and Executive Departments ‘repeal’
or ‘abolish’ the specific existing 1987 Constitutional
provisions of the present political structure into
a federal system of government via a RIDER
bill inserted? Or even as an independent proposed
bill into a law for a change into federal system?
‘The President has no power to enact or amend statutes promulgated by her predecessors much less to repeal existing laws. The President’s power is merely to execute the laws as passed by Congress.’
“Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon earlier said the LP would oppose changes to the Constitution.”
Sen. Drilon’s belief is there will be a
CHANGE to the Constitution… if such a
RIDER for federal system change
is inserted into the bill proposed
to postpone Barangay Election [No-El].
Under such a plan for a RIDER
what is the appropriate thing instead
An AMENDMENT or revision to
the Constitution, or
A Constitutional Convention
under Article VII of the Constitution.
Is a RIDER an ‘amendment’?
senate must now be very vigilant, not playing hokey pokey with dickless dick, or playing chicken with alvarez.
senate has been accused of being slow and need to be speedy gonzales like what alvarez proposes. hurry up kuno! I say, take your time, senate, do your job and study once, twice, and maybe three times all proposals put before you. for the sake of your constituents who elected and look up to you, for your kids future so they dont need to correct the mistakes done by you, for your legacy that you have done a good job, an honest day’s work, not a rush job, not a shoddy job because alvarez is breathing down your necks!
kung magalit si alvarez because you were methodical and took your time, that’s his problem. he can always hang himself in frustration, using panty hose for rope, if he so desire! he, he, he.
The ‘separate’ SENATE voting on a CHA-CHA issue will be very crucial soon.
The ‘numbers’ will play
a lot for a vigilant result.
SENATORS must remember that under
a federal system, NO
MORE Senate BODY. The
present members will
be OUT OF JOB under a
federal system. So, why
would a Senator VOTE
for such a CHA-CHA
under a federal system?
… unless LOKO-LOKO
ang Senador na yan.
… or TUTA siya, hindi
… or TUTA at LOKO-LOKO
Advice to Senators:
Protect Your Bill of Right
Being a Senator.
Or LOSE IT!
Study it THRICE will
maintain that a SENATOR is wise. Be wise even
if one is not.
For the last time:
… numbers will play a
lot. Play VIGILANTLY.
Even under a federal
system, like in U.K.,
they have the HOUSE OF
LORDS…higher body from
House of Common.
Senators be: be in the HOUSE OF LORDS then.
… to ‘Check & Balance’
the whatever the laws of government is.
… speeding up or
hurrying up always
leads potentially to
In that, Senators Don’t produce SHODDY
JOB. In that ‘close’ your
necks from ‘bad breaths.’
ha ha ha … tawa ng mga
cheers, leona. year of the dog itong 2018. senate must be like guard dogs, alert and watchful, brave and disciplined, and ready to attack or defend.
congress if full of fleas! sick.
if not fleas, tick! kailangan magkaroon ng ELISA blood test anad ating DOH.
With the present composition of Congress (Senate and House of Representatives) extension of terms is most likely with DU30’s timetable.
Chacha is a runaway term towards federalism. The DLIG has been conducting series of orientation on federalism since asec Densing was incharge of the program and continued by the new Asec Malaya who replaced Densing.
But what is presented in the orientation is the change to federalism emphasizing its advantages.
DILG has not been explaining that there are other provisions in the Constitution that will be changed e.g. economic provisions, will 100% foreign investments be allowed; in the case of constitutionally created commissions will the Commission on Human Rights be abolished; will the Sangguniang Kabataan be abolished; how about political dynasties and the form of federal government that will be established, among others.
There is no perfect form of government, what would make it near perfect are the people or leaders running such government.
in federalism, the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. it would still be the same problems carried over, the terror threat in mindanaw will not disappear, that pagong called mrt will still be around and money still will not grow on trees. and people still need to work hard or they wont eat!
people had been hoodwinked before with promises of better philippines, better tomorrow and wealth for all. and all we see is nightmare, deaths and killing. crime rate is high specially that against women and children, thanks mostly to the crazy man advocating rape. with train, prices of goods will be beyond the reach of the poor, more will be sleeping on the streets, exposed to the elements and prone to sickness and diseases. health services will be overwhelmed having been given the barest minimum of budget. and more doctors and nurses will go overseas to find work, depriving pinas of health workers.
the rich dont care if the poor get sick, kaso, sickness and diseases have no respect for wealth at mahahawaan ang mayayaman, magkakasakit din.
end of endo and the govt created train instead. because govt cannot face and solve the many problems, it’s creating a diversion called federalism.
tama ka duquemarino, it’s the people running the govt that makes it better. kaso, under federalism, it would still be the same people running the govt, the same menacing faces with the same proclivities.
no to federalism.
sign bank waiver, digong! it’s better than federalism.
ANG MGA INCOMPETENTS, WALA NA NGANG NAGAWANG MABUTE NAGPAPLANO PANG MAGTAGAL SA KANILANG POWER
Mahigit isang taon na ang Du30 government,puro kamalasan ang inabot ng bayan. Mahigit isang taon na ang Kongreso puro kababuyan ang ginawa.
Giniyera ang Marawi nagkagastos ng bilyon, pinataas ng ilang bilyon ang intelligence funds ng Du30 para walang audit, inaprub ang Mindanao martial law pinagpapatay ang trip nilang patayin, gumrabe ang trapik, gumanda ang buhay ng mga talamak na korap na sila Marcoses at Arroyo imbes na magbalik ng ninakaw na pera sa bayan, tinakot ang Korte Suprema, kinulong ng walang preba ang dating Secretary of Justice, pinawalang sala ang hepe ng Customs pagkatapos lumabas na nagpalusot ng 22 bilyon halaga ng shabu, nilibing na bayani ang diktador Marcos, puro imbestiga ang inatupag ng Kongreso para malingat sa kapalpakan at incompetence ng Du30 government..
Ngayon eto naman ang ginagawa…sambayanan hirap na,tama na,sobra na…
tama na, sobra na, dapat kapolisan and military have the guts to tell digong na tama na po, at hwag na pong taasan pa masyado ang already mataas na sahod nila. greed is good, but too much greed is not. methink, people are being starved partly so kapolisan and military can have pay rises after pay rises. already 24 solons are without funds, their districts walang pondo, while the kapolisan ang military are enjoying the good life supposedly chasing after terrorists and rebels that are probly so weakened, but made to appear formidable and powerful, so the extension of martial law can be justified. the longer martial law extends, their higher pay remained, their benefits quadrupled.
ka lampas pa yan sa himpapawid at ang rebuilding ng marawi mapupunta lang sa sahod. ang taas taas na na sweldo nila baka maging stratospheric pa yan,
I have a theory that I want to share… from TRAIN to the old crazy man being the next Dictator
The TRAIN surely would make the poor react in the negative way… if they did voice out, the old man will say that they are siding with the RED. Then they will be jailed. This means no need for referendum.
Lets say the poor did not voice out due to fear … still the old crazy man wins.
2nd theory, if the referendum went thru, there might be that possibility that “NO” may be the majority. They might again accuse that the Yellows, and again install the REVO-GOVT. — the crazy old man wins again.
Theory lang naman. But its definitely so scary
he, he, he, my funny bone says if the poor is jailed having been suspected of being dilawan or red, aba, that may not be so bad. free food, free accommodation, good company of fellow inmates, free entertainment, all those can be had in prison. plus they got to dance and be in the internet.
It is dark. Black as void. Cannot be
seen. Can people approve something
they cannot see? Cannot understand?
And it looks like this whole shebang
is being in-in-a-hurry.
A ‘transitory government’. How and where is
this to be read and understood? And to be
intelligently discussed for approval
or disapproval by the people?
So, a ‘transitory’ provision will
be created in the 1987 Constitution
for this purpose? Where? How?
May the public know?
As for the present, the public
only know there is a twilight zone
Twilight zone. Fantasy. Macabre.
An unexpected twist into what?
in twilight zone, all is possible. an imbecile can be bright and we might get to see imbecile man choking on panty! or found hanging by panty hose! all is possible sabi niyan.
seriously, sinabing all is possible maybe because imbecile man has no idea where’s he’s at, he’s not oriented, his gps not calibreted, he, he, he. in short, he’s just as lost as anyone!
seriously, again, imbecile man ought to consider the possibility that in the twilight zone, he may become number one casualty.
maraming salamat po. recommended this post sa mga teachers ng aming bayan.
let us spread the words…
Alan Valdez says
WELCOME 2018: OBSERVE, LISTEN, & REVEAL THE TRUTH.