House Resolution 737 says there will be elections in 2010, and that the terms of office of officials whose terms expire in 2010 will not be extended. It also declares that the terms of those senators elected in 2007 who’re supposed to serve until 2013 will not be shortened.
But don’t break out the champagne yet. This House of ill-repute is not noted for the sanctity of its word. Somewhere along the line, the 2010 elections could still be cancelled, and Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and company’s terms extended. But those prospects aren’t the direst we can expect. The worse is yet to come.
Leave it to Filipino politicians to miss the point and to say the patriotic thing when Filipinos are insulted, or seem to have been insulted.
It doesn’t matter where the insult or seeming insult came from. Whether from a respected and much awarded writer like the US magazine Atlantic’s James Fallows, or some hack in Hongkong — where, despite decolonization, the English- language newspapers are still edited by US, British, Australian and New Zealand expatriates — the country’s pols will react in the same way and practically in the same terms.
Constitutional amendments at this time will lead to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s remaining in power, a prospect dire enough to compel immigration to another planet. But there are other threats in charter change about which we should be no less fretful.
Three years after then House Speaker Jose de Venecia launched an attempt through a people’s initiative to amend the Constitution, and despite the opposition of 79 percent of the population today, Mrs. Arroyo’s henchmen and women in Congress are still at it.