WHEREAS, the election of the President of the Philippines is forthcoming;
WHEREAS, there has been overwhelming clamor to minimize or eradicate governmental corruption;
WHEREAS, it is the President who should be answerable for corruption in government;
WHEREAS, the extra-appointing power of the President is a corruption of the doctrine of Separation of Powers and the principle of check and balance.[See Sec. 8 (1) & (2) and 9, Art. VIII, Sec. 2 of B., C., D. of Art. IX and Sec. 9 of Art. XI of the 1987 Constitution);
WHEREAS, it is this extra-appointing power of the President, together with the culture of patronage and “pakikisama”, that provide legal imprimatur to governmental corruption
NOW THEREFORE, WE, the SOVEREIGN PEOPLE, call on each honest, well-meaning and God-loving presidential candidate TO COMMIT IN WRITING TO THE FOLLOWING, should he win the election:
That he/she will voluntarily give up the extra-appointing power of the President;
That he/she will work for the holding of a constitutional convention to amend the provisions granting the President such extra-appointing power and put in place such other anti-corruption provisions
Art. VIII, Judicial Department, 1987 Constitution
Section 8. (1) A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice, and a representative of the Congress as ex officio Members, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private sector.
(2) The regular members of the Council shall be appointed by the President for a term of four years with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. Of the Members first appointed, the representative of the Integrated Bar shall serve for four years, the professor of law for three years, the retired Justice for two years, and the representative of the private sector for one year.
Section 9. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of the lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation.
For the lower courts, the President shall issue the appointments within ninety days from the submission of the list.
Art. IX, B. Civil Service Commission, 1987 Constitution
(2) The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, the Chairman shall hold office for seven years, a Commissioner for five years, and another Commissioner for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.
Art. IX, C. Commission on Elections, 1987 Constitution
2) The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, three Members shall hold office for seven years, two Members for five years, and the last Members for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.
Art. IX, D. Commission on Audit, 1987 Constitution
(2) The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, the Chairman shall hold office for seven years, one Commissioner for five years, and the other Commissioner for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.
Art. XI, Accountability of Public Officers, 1987 Constitution
Section 9. The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least six nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council, and from a list of three nominees for every vacancy thereafter. Such appointments shall require no confirmation. All vacancies shall be filled within three months after they occur.
PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION: THE WRIT OF CORRUPTION
Most of us know already that there are two kinds of corruption: personal and institutional.
Personal corruption is as old as man. It is a matter of conscience and basically a life-long struggle between good and evil within each human being. Much has been written and said about this matter. This is a realm dominated by our religious and moral leaders. Let us leave them to the perpetual confusion.
Institutional corruption is as old as the institution that is corrupted or being corrupted. My disquisition shall rivet only on the much-corrupted Philippine government.
Going against the grain, I hold the position that the Philippine government is corrupt fundamentally because of the Constitution, not mainly because of its leaders and constituents. I hold too that human beings, though basically good, become corrupt when they are allowed to be greedy specially if given legal imprimatur.
What I am about to say of our Constitution is nothing original. I do not pretend to have seen it first. Our political leaders and constitutionalists have long been aware of it but would not articulate it because they have presidential ambitions or they are sympathetic to friends who seek to become President of the Republic.
The Philippine Constitution is the main institutional source of corruption.
The Philippine Constitution, in apportioning governmental powers to the different departments, is intended to be guided by the doctrine of Separation of Powers and the principle of Check and Balance.
The Legislative, Executive and Judicial departments, the Constitutional Commissions and the Ombudsman are intended to be separate and independent of each other with co-equal powers to check each other and balance the coordinative and cooperative exercise of governmental power.
However, the appointing powers of the President, the Chief Executive, encroach upon the independence of the other departments, the constitutional commissions and the Ombudsman.
Given the Philippine culture of patronage and “pakikisama”, government is imperiled and independence compromised by the extra-appointing power of the President.
Inquiry into appointments by the President as authorized by the Constitution shows how the doctrine of Separation of Powers and the principle of Check and Balance have long been corrupted.
Who appoints all judges and Justices of the Judiciary?
Who appoints the members of the Judicial and Bar Council?
Who appoints the Chairman and commissioners of the COA which checks government expenditure of public funds?
Who appoints the Chairman and commissioners of the COMELEC which ensures the conduct of peaceful, clean and honest elections?
Who appoints the Chairman and commissioners of the CSC which selects and supervises civil servants?
Who appoints the Ombudsman which prosecutes erring government officials and employees?
Who is the head of the political party that dominates the Senate and the House of Representatives?
Certainly, with this extra-appointing power, the independence of the other Departments, the Constitutional Commissions and the Ombudsman are easily corrupted. With such immense and pervading power, the President can impose his/her will upon all other sectors of government.
I call the Constitution as the Bill Of Wrongs (BOW) because many of its corrupting provisions make all others in government BOW to the President.
Aside from the BOW provisions allowing the President immense extra-appointing powers, the provision on the qualification of elective officials is a portent of corruption.
Take for example the qualification for the Congressman, the Senator, the Vice President and the President which require them only to be “able to read and write”. The Constitution does not even require the candidates for said positions to be able to UNDERSTAND what they are “able to read and write”. Hooooh! What a sure path to corruption and perdition! Kaawa-awang Pinoy.
I am particularly disappointed and frustrated by the demands of well-meaning citizens and Bishops of the CBCP for GMA to resign. It’s like giving GMA a reward for doing bad.
Moreover, have we not learned our lesson? Changing horses does not solve the problem. It’s a vicious circle. W e must change the cart.
Instead of asking GMA to resign, let us force her to call a constitutional convention already and dictate on her what to change in the constitution or impose on the constitutional convention what changes to make. Changes that will effectively lessen corruption in government.
I have clearly stated that the provision granting the President extra-appointing power is the license for people in government to be corrupt and be corrupted. I also stated that the “able to read and write” qualification for candidates for the Senate, House of Representatives, Vice President and President is the germ of corrupt officials.
Is it still not clear what should be changed in our Constitution? Do we still need to wait for unborn Filipinos to change the Constitution for us? What about our intergenerational responsibility to provide future generations a real good government?
Oh, I forgot two institutions that must be freed from the clutches of the President. Let us convert the DepEd and the AFP into constitutional commissions also so that the President can no longer use them for election (DepEd) and for propping up a corrupt administration (AFP).
I taught Constitutional Law for four years in a law school and the foregoing is the aberration I learned from teaching the Bill of Wrongs. They put me to shame.
– KROI VALLEJOS