Beting Laygo Dolor: No No No to Con Con con

It’s a con, is what it is. The constitutional convention that the House of Representatives is cooking up is for real, and is absolutely dangerous. That con con would amend the Constitution, ostensibly to revise certain provisions that have a negative effect on the country’s economic growth.

A new constitution will promise to deliver miraculous growth to the Philippines, proponents say.

It will not. It will be more of the same, if not worse.

President Bongbong Marcos said last week that charter change was not a priority of his regime. He was lying, of course. The House will bulldoze the bill that would call for cha-cha, and it will be with the full blessings of Speaker Martin Romualdez, the president’s cousin and Yes Man #1.

As House minority leader Edcel Lagman said, cha-cha has the quiet approval of Marcos. “Covert assent” was the phrase he used, which explains why the charter change train is moving as fast as the Maharlika Investment Fund of late last year.

The only question is the method with which the basic law of the land will be amended.

It can be through a con con, or it can be Congress acting as constituent assembly. It can even be a hybrid body, where some representatives are elected and some appointed, as suggested by a retired Supreme Court chief justice.

Whatever the method, it’s a 100 percent sure thing that the political dynasties will be well represented. In fact, they will very likely form the majority of the men and women who would change a perfectly good constitution.

The worst thing is that it is the incumbent dynasties – most of whom are beholden in some way or form to the Marcos/Romualdez gang, or clan if you prefer.

For starters, they will dispense with term limits. More than this, they will find a way to extend the terms of all current elected government officials, beginning with the president.

The country has experienced how awful a bad president can affect the country. Think Erap Estrada or Rodrigo Duterte. Now imagine the six-year term of an elected president being extended indefinitely. Think Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her nine painful years as chief executive. Yes, her extended term was a fluke, but it caused such damage to the body politic that its effects are felt to this day. She reinstituted wholesale corruption from the top, as a certain Ferdinand Marcos Sr. had done previously.

Those who would revise the constitution may institute some changes that could conceivably do some good for the people, but mostly the new provisions will be self-serving. The convention or assembly’s sole purpose will be to entrench themselves in power.

The BBM Constitution – what else should it be called, the Maharlika charter? —  will allow foreign ownership of media, which is as useless as useless a provision as it can get.

With most Filipinos able to access the internet, they can tune in to any news organization anywhere in the world.

It may even be argued that foreign media is already operating in the Philippines, through social media like YouTube, or through streaming services like Netflix, HBO, or Disney.

In fact, Filipinos should welcome foreign media operating in the country. None could do a worst job than the 100 percent Filipino-owned broadcast travesty that is ALLTV. Owner Manny Villar may have all the money in the world, but he had zero expertise in operating a media organization, resulting in a mega failure as his station could not even last six months without its live shows shutting down.

But I digress.

The cha cha choo choo train is moving full speed ahead, and it seems only a handful of senators stand in the way of a law being passed in the very near future which would fund a con con.

The two minority senators Koko Pimentel and Risa Hontiveros may not stand alone in putting up a roadblock to the evil deed planned by the puppets at the House of Representatives.

It is within the realm of the possible that enough senators will see through the Marcos regime’s hidden plan to alter the charter and guarantee that Marcoses and Romualdezes will hold top government positions for many, many decades to come.

The Duterte and Macapagal-Arroyo clans will be allowed to take some of the spoils, but only if they play nice.

I strongly suspect that the way the Marcos/Romualdez clan intends to perpetuate themselves in power is through a shift to a parliamentary form of government, thanks to the 2023/23 con con.

How’s this for a worst-case scenario: Sandro Marcos as prime minister for the next 20 years, to be followed by a yet unborn Romualdez. In the meantime, one of GMA’s or Digong’s kids may hold the position for a short spell or two.

Let there be no doubt. The great con is on, and everything that is happening is intended to replace a constitution that has been working well enough since it was ratified in 1987.

My dirty mind tells me that cha cha is another way that Marcos Junior wants to erase as many vestiges of the rule of Cory and later Noynoy Aquino as possible.

The plan stinks to high heaven.

As the people remember the Edsa Revolution this week, it is worth asking if it was all worth it. The Marcoses are back and they have every intention of staying in power for the rest of their days. Soon enough, People Power will be erased from the history books.

By comparison, the presidency was thrust upon Cory and Noynoy. They did not lust for power, but only accepted the challenge that was forced on them.

In my writings, I usually refer to the 1986 People Power Revolution as a revolt, an unfinished revolution. Everything that has happened since Leni Robredo was the victim of massive cheating in last year’s elections says that the Philippines may indeed be facing the bleakest future imaginable.

The Philippines now has a president who has not paid his taxes, who travels whenever the itch hits him, who gives speeches at even the most insignificant event, but who has produced little except to invite praise for his non-existent accomplishments.

A con con filled with know-nothing relatives of elected government officials who sold their souls to the devil years ago promises that the Philippines’ weak democracy will not last.

No no no to the Con Con con. Too much is at stake if it pushes through.