Monday, July 13, 2009

Charter Change and Plagiarism

Reading the papers last weekend, I see it appears that Philippine Star columnist and Charter Change advocate Carmen Pedrosa have either chosen not to respond to my letter to the editor regarding her two counts of plagiarism in her column (one in 2006, and the other last June 20), or are still deciding on what course of action to take. I hope it’s the latter, because I don’t think she, or the reading public, should ignore the fact that she has been less than honest about what she writes, considering that she has continued to question the credibility of those who protest or oppose Charter Change. Until she owns up to her dishonesty, she has no right to question others’ credibility, when her own credibility is in itself in question.

Of course, that doesn’t stop her from continuing to do so. In her column yesterday, she castigates U.S. Ambassador Kirstie Kenney for having stated that “the US would be concerned if the election were postponed,” and then categorizes the statement as a threat. Be that as it may, Charter Change isn’t the only possible reason why the elections would be postponed, considering the current situation in the country today. It is a continuing perception that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has intentions of prolonging her stay in power. So Ambassador Kenney’s statement could also be a warning to the President and her lapdogs against taking illegal measures to prolong that stay.

Pedrosa seems to think that Kenney is speaking her own mind on the 2010 elections, but it should be noted that the US Ambassador is an emissary of the American President, so it is unlikely that Kenney issued that statement independent of US intentions. Kenney’s statements on the 2010 most likely echo the will of the powers-that-be in Washington.

Pedrosa also continues to label those against Charter Change as oligarchic and foreign-sponsored. Of course, the House of Representatives, which is pushing for Charter Change, only has the country’s best interests at heart when they voted for HR 1109, which calls for the House to convene itself as a constituent assembly. If you’re willing to believe that, there’s a get-rich scheme that I’d like you to try out.

The main reason why Charter Change cannot be pursued at this time is that the President, being distrusted and unpopular, does not have the necessary public approval to push this agenda. The House, which Pedrosa supports, is every bit as elitist and oligarchic as the anti-Charter Change movement supposedly is, if not even more so. A number of our Congressmen are in power because they have manipulated the electoral system to install themselves in Congress, using the time-honored method of guns, goons, and gold. And this is the august body which will initiate changes in the Constitution? Please.

Unless our countrymen are properly educated about the Constitution and their social and political rights, it really doesn’t matter what system of government we have, because the ruling elite will make sure that the playing field is uneven enough to maintain their stranglehold on the nation. If it’s going to be the same bunch of elitists, scions of political dynasties, and general idiots which will make up whatever new legislative body will be formed under Charter Change, then there will be no lasting change, only the same old song with new packaging.

As for Pedrosa and her plagiarism, I'm unsure as to how to deal with this issue. I'm welcome to suggestions.

As for the articles themselves, here are the links: "Let us move on, but where?", and "Gridlock rears its ugly head".

This post also appears in Daily Musings.

SOURCE: Philippine Commentary


Jm Benavidez Estoque said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jm Benavidez Estoque said...

I believe that our country really needs charter change already... pero sa mga panahong tulad nito na hindi pa gaanong sentralisado ang gobyerno at lalo't sa kinikinita ko'y may iba lamang na mga dahilan kaya ito ipapatupad,... masasabi kong hindi pa ito napapanahon.

manuelbuencamino said...

well it's not surprising that Pedrosa resorts to plagiarism. It's in keeping with her character. Remember Justice Carpio's description of her pet People's Initiative?

Eric said...

Was that the one about being deceitful? I'll have to look it up.

JM, I'm with you on that. I believe that the Constitution is in need of revision, but I don't think this administration is the one to implement it.

David House said...

I am British, married to a Filipina and I spend much time in the Philippines. I follow the Cha-cha debate as I see only good coming from enabling these changes. Any worries that people have can be dealt with at the ballot box. You desperately need to modernise your system, stop the log jams blocking reforms as a start to reducing the corruption and the over powering influence of the controlling families. Most of all you need to remove the involvement of the church in political life and let the people take real control. As an outsider I can see these problems and how Cha-cha will start to help. To get bogged down in personality debates about Gloria is to miss the opportunity at a time when you need all the help you can get. Your media does not serve you well, as it is rarely free of influence and quite often fails to report really important issues. I wish you all good sense and much luck.