The Inquirer headline warns of an ongoing move in the House of Representatives to amend the Constitution through a constituent assembly which could lead to the indefinite extension of the Arroyo administration’s reign. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s eldest son, Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, is supposedly leading a signature drive, which has already secured between 120 and 150 signatures on a resolution calling on the Senate and the House to amend the Constitution by voting jointly and not separately. The anti-charter change Senate will be outvoted by the Arroyo-controlled Lower House.
It is widely believed that any change in the constitution could lead to the scrapping the upcoming 2010 presidential election and the perpetuation of Mrs. Arroyo in power.
It’s all falling into place. The move to oust former Senate president Manuel Villar and put Malacanang heavy Juan Ponce-Enrile in his stead, the imminent court-packing of the Supreme Court which seven members are due to retire shortly and now this. Even Press Secretary Jesus Dureza’s prayer at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting indicating that Ms Arroyo might well remain in MalacaÃ±ang “beyond” 2010, a slip of gargantuan proportions. GMA’s expression when she heard the political prayer says it all. She looked like a child whose naughty deed was discovered.
And she would only need 196 signatures, which represent the two-third votes of the combined membership of the Senate (23) and the House (238), should the Supreme Court rule that a constituent assembly (composed of both houses of Congress) would vote jointly and not separately. A friendly SC could pave the way. If the Inquirer report is accurate, she’s more than half way there.