Peter Laviña

The ABCs (Activities, Beliefs and Campaigns) of City Councilor Peter Tiu Laviña of Davao City, Philippines. This blog started on March 9, 2006.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

History repeating itself

I was still very young to qualify to vote “NO” in the plebiscite to ratify the martial law constitution in 1973. I learned later though that the voting was a total farce. People had not even seen a copy or had a vague notion of the mangled charter and yet it was “approved” overwhelmingly. The “non-partisan” 1971 constitutional convention initially prepared it. However, after the infamous September 21, 1972 Marcos’ henchmen rewrote it.

One popular account of the plebiscite during those dark days of military rule went like this. A government official asked the barangay assembly who wants a kilo of rice. Surely, everyone raised their hands in glee. Photos were then taken, and immediately dispatched to Malacanang. The following morning, splattered all over the regime’s newspapers were the pictures of the people happily “ratifying” the new Charter!

Well, history is about to repeat itself. So-called barangay assemblies on March 25 and October 21 in 42,000 villages all over the country will launch “Puno’s Initiative for Gloria’s Chacha Roll on” or PIGCharon.

There will be feasting! This time, the offering will not consist of just a kilo of rice, but very likely “crispy lechon” as well. According to a report from Akbayan Davao del Sur, local pro-GMA officials were giving barangay captains P10,000 each for the barangay assemblies.

In the last barangay assembly held on October 15, 2005, there was no such largesse.

The DILG Memo Circular 2006-25 appeared harmless just like the earlier DILG Memo 2006-10 on the Liberal Party invitation for a conference on local governance last March 2. Their lists of agenda were issues on health, bird flu, agricultural and marine productivity, etc. Curiously listed though as last item were “other critical concerns” such as “current issues affecting the country.”

What current issues can there be but the plot to legitimize and perpetuate to power the present Palace occupant?

So, the motive is truly highly suspect. Similar to the conference on local governance that was illegaly transformed into a rump LP “national assembly,” the barangay assemblies, I am sure, will end up in the same deceptive manner. As unlawful “people’s initiatives” for charter change.

I have no doubt that the attendance sheets for this assembly, just like the pictures in 1973, would become Annex “A” exhibits in steamrolling the controversial Chacha.

Malacanang is rigging the constitutional process again. Binababoy na naman tayo!

Luckily, I am now old enough to protest, and vehemently register NO!

(Submitted as Signs of the Times column article for Mindanao Times for March 24, 2006)

2 Comments:

Blogger Sef said...

It seems to me that you have judged the event before it happens... saying "binababoy na naman tayo" even before the pambababoy takes place...

And 1972 ratification of the Marcos constitution is not anywhere like what would happen on any baranggay assemblies..

11:45 AM  
Blogger peterlavina said...

Thank you for your comment. I am sorry but I don't believe that I am prejudging. My opinion is based on past events like the 1973 plebiscite and the most recent attempts to force chacha in spite of legal, nay even, constitutional roadblocks. Pardon if that to me is pambababoy. History should teach us not to fall again for this cheap political machination. I believe many press reports from all over the country point to a common fact - binibili ang mga pirma para chacha! The process of pambababoy has long taken place.
Daghang salamat!

12:15 PM  

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