Superhero complex – or the belief of being the only one capable of saving the world, or the Philippines in this case – is afflicting President Aquino as he admitted during a TV interview Wednesday that he is now open to extending his single 6-year term and allowing a Charter change (Cha-cha) or amending the Constitution after vehemently rejecting them many times in the past.
This was the dire “prognosis” of the labor center Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa as it attacked Aquino for showing his “height of arrogance to think that he is the only one fit to rule the country.”
Using the pretext of “listening” to his purported “bosses (the masses),” Aquino sounded like in doubt whether his “reforms” and “achievements” would continue under a new – and unfriendly – administration. (His touted handpicked successor, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, has miserably been lagging behind in the surveys on presidential wannabes.)
Carping on the Supreme Court – which replaced Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as his current pet peeve – Aquino hinted that his possible second term and certain provisions in a Cha-cha could check the high court’s “unrestrained power” in checking the executive and legislative branches.
Aquino was most likely referring to the successive rulings of the high court that declared the graft-tainted pork barrels of Congress (the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF) and the President (the Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP) as unconstitutional last November and July, respectively.
“Genuine ‘reforms’ can only be done by strengthening democratic institutions and practices – the very things that PDAF and DAP are undermining by giving ‘priority’ to and ‘accelerating’ the fraud and corruption of top politicians and their accomplices outside the government like Janet Lim-Napoles,” Frank Mero, Sentro chair, said rather metaphorically.
Josua Mata, Sentro secretary general, explained that “what should be implemented are structural or sweeping pro-people policies – agrarian and urban land reform, secure and decent jobs, increase support to agro-industrial sectors, freedom of information (FOI) law, ending the culture of impunity, etc. – and not Cha-cha, which would merely advance the vested interests of the few.”
“Tinkering or tampering with the existing 1987 Constitution will only lead to further weakening if not altogether repealing any remaining pro-people provisions in the Charter,” Mata warned.