Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sufficiency in Form: Counting the Baby's Toes

What's the first thing that people do with a new born baby after checking for life with a spanking? Well, they count the number of arms, legs, eyes, ears, fingers and toes and note their size, shape, and location; they look at the shape of the head and face and body, the length of the limbs, the distances between them, and other formal signs of the human design. We are checking the FORM of the baby for the presence of the expected parts of a true, and possibly beautiful, new human being. In more primordial times, such a rudimentary check for SUFFICIENCY in FORM among infants of homo sapiens assured them that this was not a baby ape or snake or rodent, or mutant dwarf they suddenly found, bloody and squealing in the dark of the Cave.

Thus, insufficiency in form is not some mere technicality when it comes to the people's initiative petition that was struck down in Lambino v. Comelec. It is a check for genus and species of the initiative petition itself, to see if it complies with the requirements of the Constitution.

1987 Art XVII Sec. 2: Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein.
what ARE the Constitution's requirements on the FORM of a valid initiative petition? It's really, really simple, after the Supreme Court's surgical evisceration of the Sigaw case:

There must be a written initiative petition with the full text of the amendments proposed for plebiscite, signed and subscribed to by the required numbers of the people.

Upon "counting toes" the Supreme Court basically found that the "written initiative petition" of Sigaw consisted of the signature sheets used to allegedly collect 6.3 million signatures. But they also found that the baby has no body, arms or legs because --
There is not a single word, phrase, or sentence of text of the Lambino Group’s proposed changes in the signature sheet. Neither does the signature sheet state that the text of the proposed changes is attached to it. Petitioner Atty. Raul Lambino admitted this during the oral arguments before this Court on 26 September 2006.
The Sigaw initiative petition is thus atrociously insufficient in form, which is why the ruling said its proponents had "failed miserably" to comply with the most basic requirements of the Constitution. Here we see that an insufficiency in form can mask a "GRAND DECEPTION"
For sure, the great majority of the 6.3 million people who signed the signature sheets did not see the full text of the proposed changes before signing. They could not have known the nature and effect of the proposed changes, among which are:
1.The term limits on members of the legislature will be lifted and thus members of Parliament can be re-elected indefinitely;[26]

2. The interim Parliament can continue to function indefinitely until its members, who are almost all the present members of Congress, decide to call for new parliamentary elections. Thus, the members of the interim Parliament will determine the expiration of their own term of office; [27]

3. Within 45 days from the ratification of the proposed changes, the interim Parliament shall convene to propose further amendments or revisions to the Constitution.[28]
This lucidly shows the absolute need for the people to sign an initiative petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments to avoid fraud or misrepresentation. In the present initiative, the 6.3 million signatories had to rely on the verbal representations of Atty. Lambino and his group because the signature sheets did not contain the full text of the proposed changes. The result is a grand deception on the 6.3 million signatories who were led to believe that the proposed changes would require the holding in 2007 of elections for the regular Parliament simultaneously with the local elections.
In fine, the Court has found an alleged initiative petition that is not constitutionally homo sapiens as it is missing head, heart, body and limbs! It must be a species of moral dwarf.


schumey said...

Its indeed a grand deception that defrauded those who signed the petition. My own experience in my barangay showed how the entire process was undertaken. What was shown to me was more like a survey form than a petition. To think that such a petiton would ultimately shape the future of our nation. You are right, its a species of an (im)moral dwarf from an enchanted kingdom.

baycas said...

while Lambino was lambasted as his surname appeared 103 times in the Ruling of the Court, no mention of the oppositors’ names and their counter arguments was done by j. carpio. was it because the case was too basic as counting the baby’s toes that oppositors’ views need not be cited anymore or were the oppositors’ arguments really without merit in order to have a niche in yesterday’s SC decision?

Tom said...

To use another analogy, I think the "alleged" baby, aside from not having arms, legs, and head, is not even human but the hollow torso of a plastic doll. To call some of these SC members "justices" is both incomprehensible and indefensible.