Who screwed who? - If there is no enabling law authorizing a people's initiative (to amend the constitution), why is there no enabling law? (… and, therefore is still screwing around…?)What "the law-makers" have to say:"'The Cha-cha (Constitutional Change) train has no congressional franchise to operate (a valid initiative law) nor an engine with a valid license to operate it (Comelec
[Commission on Elections]),' Arroyo
[Sen. Joker Arroyo] said in a statement."He was referring to the absence of an enabling law that would justify revising the Constitution through collection of signatures, and the Commission on Elections' lack of authority to approve such an initiative…"Arroyo and Pimentel
[Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr] agreed that a huge obstacle - a 1987
[sic, 1997] ruling that there was no sufficient law for such an initiative - lay in the path of the Malacañang-backed locomotive
[for Charter Change]…"Senate President Franklin Drilon yesterday accused the Arroyo
[President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo] administration of trying to condition the public mind that a people's initiative could be done without an enabling law."Speaking before the International Association of Business Communicators conference n Makati, Drilon said" 'We shall continue to explain to our people that the truth is we must follow what the Supreme Court has said or what our Constitution says. Otherwise, we will have anarchy in our country.'"
["Senators warn: Runaway train headed for cliff, legal obstacles," by TJ Burgonio, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Saturday, April 1, 2006.]"Escudero
[Congressional Minority Leader Francis Escudero] said aside from the fact that there is no enabling law, the people's initiative that he claimed the administration launched last Saturday is unconstitutional in another aspect - it seeks to revise and not just amend the basic law of the land."'If there is a law governing the process, an initiative is good for simple amendments, not for revisions. What the administration seeks to undertake is certainly a revision. It affects three articles of the Constitution - those on the executive and legislative branches, and the transitory provisions - composed of more than 50 sections,' he said…"In a related development, Sen. Manuel Roxas said he plans to file within the week a resolution calling for an inquiry into the government-backed people's initiative."'The administration must refrain from subverting the intent of the Constitution regarding it provision on the people's initiative…The government should not substitute its political posture for the voice of the people,' he said."
["People's initiative to reach SC," by Jess Diaz, with James Manaanghaya, Eva Visperas, Mayen Jaymalin, Christina Mendez, Edith Regalado, Edu Punay, Jaime Laude, Paolo Romero, Cecille Suerte Relipe, The Philippine Star, Tuesday, March 28, 2006.]What the Constitution (1987, present; emphasis provided) says:
"THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT
"Section 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives
, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and referendum.
"Section 32. The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, whereby the people can directly propose and enact laws
or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof passed by the Congress or local legislative body after the registration of a petition therefor signed by at least ten per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters thereof.
"AMENDMENTS OR REVISIONS
"Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by:
(1) The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members; or
(2) A constitutional convention.
"Section 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition
of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter.
"The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.
"Section 3. The Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, call a constitutional convention, or by a majority vote of all its Members, submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention.
"Section 4. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution under Section 1 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the approval of such amendment or revision.
"Any amendment under Section 2 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the certification by the Commission on Elections of the sufficiency of the petition."