‘Trauma’ of martial law hinders support for Cha-cha, says expert
MANILA, Philippines — A law expert on Tuesday said that some government officials may still be harboring trauma from the dark years of martial law that made them balk at expressing support to changes in the charter.
During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes, committee chair Senator Robin Padilla asked lawyer Anthony Abad from the Ateneo de Manila University’s Faculty of Law and Economics what hinders some government officials from favoring charter change.
“On one side is ‘yung trauma ng martial law and the whole period ng dictatorship. So, there are still people who are scared na baka babalik ulit sa batas militar, gagamitin ‘yung Constitution for dictatorship purposes,” Professor Anthony Abad Jr. told Padilla.
(On one side is the trauma of martial law and the whole period ng dictatorship. So, there are still people who are scared that martial law will be revived or the Constitution will be used for dictatorship purposes.)
Abad explained that the 1987 Constitution, which is being reviewed in the committee hearing, is only a temporary constitution in principle which should have been amended in 1989 or 1990.
“Sinabi lang ni [former President] Cory [Aquino], ‘i-ratify natin ‘yan para magkaroon ng stability pero ayusin natin,’” he pointed out.
(Cory then said to ratify the 1987 Constitution to have stability, but it still needs fixing.)
“Dapat pinag-aralan na ‘yung pagbabago sa 1987 Constitution as early as 1989 or 1990 dapat inayos na natin n’un,” he added.
(The changes in the 1987 Constitution should have been made as early as 1989 or 1990.)
In 1971, late dictator and former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. called a constitutional convention (Con-con) which produced the draft 1973 Constitution that was subsequently approved in citizens’ assemblies.
The charter paved the way for a semi-parliamentary system.
However, it was discarded when Aquino issued Proclamation No. 3 following Marcos Sr.’s ouster through the 1986 People Power Revolution.
Proclamation No. 3 declares a national policy to implement reforms mandated by the people protecting their basic rights, adopting a provisional constitution, and providing for an orderly transition to a government under a new constitution.
Aquino’s proclamation likewise established a commission that would draft the present 1987 Constitution.
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