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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

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Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Impeachment vs. Charter Change: Structure vs. Attitude

Some flowchart points to ponder on impeachment vis-à-vis charter change:

1. What happens to the impeachment trial of GMA if a new constitution is ratified by the people? Is it halted or does it continue?

2. If trial is halted by virtue of the effectivity of the new constitution without resolving the guilt or innocence of the president, will a "second envelope" scenario possibly erupt and incur the ire of the people?

3. If trial is allowed to continue, under what constitutional cover will it operate? The superseded 1987 Constitution or the newly ratified constitution?

4. If trial is allowed to continue under the new constitutional dispensation favoring a unicameral legislature, how will the opposition justify its continuation when the Senate no longer exists?

5. Is it constitutional for the framers to provide a provision under the Transitory Provisions for the continued existence of the Senate as an impeachment court?
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Countervailing the statements of the Triumvirate that Charter change is the solution to the present ills of our nation, Bishop Gaudencio Rosales retorts the obvious contrary: no system will work without metanoia (change of heart).

On that score, I leave you the words of the eminent Harvard constitutionalist, Prof. Laurence Tribe in his book "American Constitutional Law": "For although what might be called the Constitution's presuppositions or its underlying moral logic are themselves subject to change - to "amendment," if you will - such change cannot simply be willed into being through the device of amending the Constitution. It requires a sea change in attitudes, in belief, in systems, in culture…"

Do we have what it takes to succeed?

2 Comments:

Blogger Punzi said...

I do hope your questions do not become rhetorical to our politicos...

7:18 AM  
Anonymous dawin said...

Punzi,

I hope so too. But I think with your blog lectures, it is very well within your competence to enlighten our politicos. Will be waiting for you to expand your previous lecture on Constitutional amendments!

9:26 AM  

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