ARROYO CHA-CHA IS DESIGNED FOR HER BENEFIT: RBH 15 littered with self serving provisions including massive termination of government employees
Bayan Muna Chairman and former Congressman Neri Colmenares today countered Speaker Arroyo’s assertion that RBH 15 is not tailored to benefit her. He also revealed that the Arroyo Charter change (Cha-cha) will result in massive termination of government employees including judges and career officers.
“The assertion of Speaker Gloria Arroyo that her Cha-cha was not designed to benefit her and that her only participation is the crafting of the federal structure is untrue. Her RBH 15 is littered with self serving provisions that benefit her.
Article VIII Sec. 4 lifts term limits which means Speaker Arroyo, who is already on her third and last term, can run again in the 2019 elections and retain her speakership of the House. While the Senate President is the Chairman of the powerful Commission on Appointments under the 1987 Constitution, under Article VIII Section 19 of Arroyo’s Cha-cha, the Chairmanship is transferred to the Speaker of the House. Of course, the insertion of Article XVII Sec. 4 which provides the basis for the possible cancellation of the 2019 election, also benefits Speaker Arroyo who will remain as Speaker should the elections be cancelled,” said Makabayan Chairman and former Congressman Neri Colmenares.
“The Arroyo Cha-cha is also full of self- serving provisions such as Article VIII Section 26 which now allows Congress to increase its budget. Under the 1987 Constitution, Congress cannot increase the budget submitted by the President. Article VIII, Section 26 of Arroyo’s Cha-cha now grants Congress the power to increase its own budget. This is the reason why the constituent assembly (Con Ass) has never been popular because it grants legislators the power to draft a Constitution that benefits them and not the Filipino people,” Colmenares, a human rights lawyer who have long studied charter change in the Philippines also revealed that massive retrenchment and termination of public officials and government employees will take place under the current moves to amend the Constitution.
“The current Cha-cha will result in massive termination of public officials and government employees including judges and justices. Article XVIII, Sec. 12 of RBH 15 cuts the term of office of all members of the COMELEC, the COA and the Civil Service Commission to one year. Section 13 also provides that ‘Career service employees who are separated from service, not for cause, but as a result of the reorganization shall be entitled to a separation pay x x x. This provision also applies to career service officers whose resignation, tendered in line with the existing policy, had been accepted’. This means that even tenured CESO officials will be eased out of government by requiring them to tender their resignation ‘in line with the existing policy’ whatever this existing policy means. Even judges and justices of the judiciary will not be spared as under Article XVIII Sec. 9 ‘The incumbent members of the Judiciary shall remain in office until they x x x are removed for cause, or by the abolition of their office’.
“Vice-President Leni Robredo will be rendered practically jobless under Article XVIII Sec. 4 of RBH 15 as she is taken out of the line of succession. There will be massive dislocation in the judiciary and the entire government as government offices are abolished and its officials and employees replaced. Of course, many of their replacements will be appointed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte. Pres. Duterte will practically appoint almost all public officials in government. His appointees will litter the judiciary and government long after his term ends in 2022,” he added.
“The Duterte Cha-cha has become more lethal with Speaker Arroyo at the helm of the House of Representatives. We urge the people to intensify their opposition to the Duterte-Arroyo Cha cha as this will not only prop up a government controlled by Pres. Duterte but also grant one Gloria Arroyo a chance to becoming Philippine President one more time,” ended Colmenares.##