With all the talk on federalism and charter change (Cha-Cha), a former member of the 1986 Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) that drafted the current Constitution defended the highest law of the land and slammed the lawmakers for failing in its implementation.
During the fourth Senate hearing on Cha-Cha on February 1, Christian Monsod, also a former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman was invited to be a resource speaker.
“The problem is not the Constitution but the legislators who slept on the job for 30 years to fully implement it. Or when reform legislation was passed, [they] made sure it was watered down and underfunded. This is a legislature that wants to rewrite the Constitution,” he said during the hearing.
Monsod further defended the Constitution saying that it was not made as an “overreaction to the Marcos dictatorship and was written in anger.”
“If there is anger, it was not when we were writing the Constitution. The anger is today when we see the promise of a new social order is not being kept and there are people even blaming the Constitution which has all the provisions to fulfill that vision,” he said.
At the same time, Monsod expressed disappointment on the proposed federal charter draft of the ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
“That is why the PDP-Laban version of the Constitution is so disappointing,” he said. “Why is it pushing for a federal-parliamentary system which they admit does not directly, but only indirectly, address the twin problems of mass poverty and gross inequalities that is central to a new social order?”
Monsod noted that the ruling party was part of the EDSA People Revolution.
“In other words, social justice is no longer a compelling provision of the Constitution but it is another means to economic growth, like globalization, free trade, market-driven solutions, international competitiveness, increased foreign trade investments,” he said.
“Doesn’t PDP-Laban know that if we remove social justice as the central theme of the Constitution, there will be hell to pay for the poor? As my former colleague, Haydee Yorac used to say: Let justice be done thou the heaven’s fail,” he added.