Have You No Shame? An Open Letter to the House of Representatives

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This entry was first posted at Filipino Voices.  I decided to post it here because I have a new awesome theme, and that awesome image by Andrew dela Serna.  I suggest you right-click that image right there and save it on your blogs.

Meanwhile, the embarrassment, sham, and injustice at the House of Representatives last night, where HR 1109 was railroaded, warrants this blog post.  For all the shamelessness that took place, allow me this instance to shame.

Again.  – Marocharim

To the august and honorable members of the House of Representatives,

I write this letter in the knowledge that within my inalienable right to free speech, I have the right to condemn, to dissent, and to express.  My knowledge is limited, and my grammar is flawed.  My eyes are not privy to law books, nor am I an expert in the terms and procedures surrounding a pending resolution in the House.  Yet I believe my heart is in the right place, my anger is warranted, and my dismay and disdain for the events of June 2, 2009, 170 Representatives, and a ruthless, rude, and repugnant resolution roots my rage.

Last night, you held a marathon session to pass House Resolution 1109.  The august and honorable members of the House majority have passed the resolution to set up a constituent assembly to open up the Philippine Constitution to changes that endanger Philippine sovereignty and the freedoms allowed of us in this country because of selfish interests.  Last night, the possibility of “Gloria Forever” haunted a sleeping nation.

More than that, the resolution was rammed through, railroaded, and passed without regard to objection and without respect to the Philippine constitution.  More than an agenda of “Gloria Forever,” what happened last night was a slap in the face to the ideals that this nation stands for.  Ideals enshrined not only in the Constitution, but in the values and mores of Filipino society.  What happened last night was a black eye to democracy, to prudence, and to dialogue.  What happened last night, to my mind, was an embarrassment, a farce, and a shame.

The Constitution is a defining moment in history: the height of creating a politics of freedom, identity, and national strength.  It is created and ratified on the basis that one’s country is not designed and built on whims, but that of foresight and the common good.  One that sets a precedent for justice and fairness.  It is the building block of democracy in free nations.

Last night was a defining moment in history: the height of a politics of ignominy, imprudence, and insolence.  All for the approval of a seemingly harmless – yet shameless – and ambiguously-worded resolution that threatens the very existence of this country’s democracy.  One that sets a precedent for injustice and unfairness.  You made a grip on the very throat of this country’s democracy, and stifled it.

What you did last night was nothing short of shameless.  That resolution will be tested and perhaps maybe even struck out of record one day.  Forgotten, perhaps, but should stand – and will stand – as a testament to shame.

Honorable Representatives, the wisdom of amending the Constitution is not lost on anyone, and it certainly is not lost on me.  Yet without the benefit of prudent dialogue and evaluation, the wisdom of Constitutional amendments – much less Charter Change – must be questioned.  When the passage of a resolution that endangers democracy is made possible because of the maneuvering of the majority, the intentions and effects of moves to amend the Constitution must be questioned.  And if the integral document of a nation is going to be altered by people with questionable integrity, everything about Constitutional amendments and Charter Change are questionable.

I do not intend to sow fear.  In a free country, the citizens are – and should – be open to debate.  Yet this debate should come with the curt and fair warning that our arguments and sides should always be framed by what is truthful, what is just, and what is fair.  It is not sufficient or adequate to railroad the passage of this resolution if the rush and haste cannot be justified.  That in a free country, in a democracy, the will of the majority will always be framed by the will of the minority.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is the spirit of consensus.  Something that does not take place when you railroad a bill, a law, or a resolution.

To railroad the passage of HR 1109, without regard and respect for this country’s constitution, and without regard to other august institutions, is nothing short of disrespectful.  There is a right time and a right place for the changes you want – most especially the changes necessary – to take place.  These changes take place in discussion, no matter how slow it may be, and with due respect to the branches of government involved.  These changes occur with the knowledge and wisdom that those who perpetuate these changes are beyond doubt, beyond question, and have the integrity needed to challenge and amend a very integral document.

I ask, again: have you no shame?

Have you no shame, august and honorable members of the House?  Have you no shame that on that one day, you shot democracy dead?  Have you no shame that by railroading a questionable resolution, you railroaded a most questionable future for our country?  Have you no shame to turn deaf ears to voices of dissent and disagreement, but welcome with open arms those who nod in agreement?  Have you no shame to disrespect the very foundations of what this country stands for?  Have you no shame to listen only to your voices in the speaker systems of the Batasan, but not listen to the voices of Filipinos who are against what you have to say?

Have you no shame to the righteous anger of the Filipino people who have had enough of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?  Have you no shame not to listen to the righteous indignation of the Filipino people who have called you out on your do-what-it-takes attitude to cling to power?  Have you no shame that you railroad Constitutional change, yet not exercise the same sense of urgency for reproductive health and agrarian reform and poverty alleviation programs?  Have you no shame in the power you throw off the balance?  Honorable members of the House, show me – show us – your shame.

The absence of integrity in the House of Representatives came to light last night.  The sworn protectors of the Philippine Constitution – those who swore upon that document when they assumed office – are now those who seek to subvert it and silence all opposition by railroading the passage of an ill-willed resolution, by dismissing dissent, and by playing numbers games instead of reflecting on the causes for, and consequences of, the change they so want to enforce and shove down our throats.  More than “Gloria Forever,” the railroading and ramming through of HR 1109 is a clear indication that the public interest is secondary to personal political interests, or at the very least, ill-defined ones.

I reiterate, members of the House of Representatives, in a most humble – and humbling – tone: to change an integral document, you need to have integrity.  Last night, honorable members of the House, you demonstrated a complete absence of it.  The constitution is our document: it is the testament that we are a sovereign people.  You do not tamper with this integral and integrating document if your integrity is in question.

It’s more than “Gloria Forever,” more than the compromising of sovereign territory, and more than technical squabbling on the form of government we’ll have.  The railroading of HR 1109 is a clear exercise in what politics in this country has degenerated into: the tyrrany of deceit, the rule of disrespect, the noise of impunity, and the triumph of ignominy.  What you did last night was a clear violation of the dignity of this nation.  What you did was to kill democracy.  I refuse to be represented by those who demonstrate that kind of politics.

A sham, ladies and gentlemen.  You have no shame.

With much respectful indignation, this is as much as I can do.  I respectfully demand that you tender your resignation letters, or voluntarily leave office for what you have done to the people and their Constitution.  The night of June 2, 2009 will forever be inscribed in the annals of this country’s history as the day you stopped being august and honorable.  If only for that symbolic act may your shame be damned.

August and honorable members of the House of Representatives, I thank you for your time.  Thank you, in advance, for your response.

Very respectfully,

Marocharim

(Added September 1, 2009: For purposes of verifying nominations for the Ten Best Posts of the Year for the 2009 Philippine Blog Awards, this code: PBA0944r752r)

18 comments on “Have You No Shame? An Open Letter to the House of Representatives”

  1. Reply

    What more can I say? They have no shame indeed. Calling for their resignation is an action worth pursuing. Hopefully I can get a more accurate list of these useless congressmen.

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  3. Pingback: NO to CON-ASS | RP Elections 2010

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  5. linked your blog.

    please join us in facebook and help us spread the rage.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pilipinas-Kontra-ConAss/101256379616

    thanks & more power!

  6. Pingback: Saving the Republic: Filipinos Say ‘NO’ to HR 1109 « Would you buy it for a quarter?

    • Robbie Lima
    • June 13, 2009
    Reply

    Please list all these “tongressmen” in the website for us to take note. Let us all blacklist these “representa-thieves” from the future national elections or positions. We will not let them win and we will campaign against them. They are nothing but paid lackeyes.

    • mely ruiz
    • June 22, 2009
    Reply

    yes we shouldn’t let this representathieves together with the illigitimate president and family to get away from ramming HR1109 to our throat.We should plaster all their faces everywhere for all of us filipinos to know who this traitors are so that when we have the chance of seeing them,we should throw them tomatoes,and fecal materials because thats what they deserved.

    • Juancho Lim
    • June 24, 2009
    Reply

    i am not anti con-ass and the more i am not for con-ass, but don’t you all think this is just a waste of time? these bloggings and eyeballs, rallies etc. di pa rin nila tayo marinig, at kung naririnig man tayo ng mga tao dyan sa House, still they don’t give a “D”. Because kahit na dumarami na ang sumisigaw sa kalye para ibasura ang con-ass, still there are politicians who obviously will walk side by side with us shouting anti-con-ass slogans, nagbabalat-kayo lamang for their own benefits. Di man lang sila marunong mahiya. Nakakawalang gana kung iisipin, nakakaawa kung titingnan ang mga Pilipino, laging naniniwala sa mga dalang pangako ng mga pulitiko, na alam naman nating mapapako lamang iyon, at patuloy pa rin tayong magbulag-bulagan, umaasa sa mga pangako nilang PAGBABAGO. Dahil ang pagbabago ay dapat magsimula sa ating sarili. Magpapa-uto pa rin ba tayo sa mga taong niluklok natin sa gobyerno? Pilipino ay madaling makalimot at madaling magpatawad.

  7. Reply

    Juancho:

    Paumanhin sa paggamit ko ng wikang Filipino.

    Makakaasa kang hindi ko sinulat ang pahayag na ito na may abay o kasamang pulitiko. Magbe-beinte-kwatro anyos pa lang ako, kaya di ko sinulat ang pahayag na ito sa aking pansariling interes. Ito ay pagpapahayag na tumitindig ako sa kung ano ang sa tingin ko ay tama. Sapat na iyong batayan, para sa akin, na ang pagbabago sa bayan ay pagbabago sa sarili.

    Ito ay isang personal na pagpapahayag na kinasusuklam ko ang pambabastos at kawalang-hiyaan ng mababang kapulungan sa pagpasa ng HR 1109. Bilang isang Pilipino hindi ko inaasahan ang mga pulitiko na maging saklay ko; inaasahan ko na gawin nila ang trabaho nila. Kaibigan, pasensya na, pero keber ako sa pangako nila. Hindi ako nagbabayad ng buwis para tuparin nila ang pangako nila, ngunit para gawin nila ang trabaho nila.

    Naniniwala ako na nagsisimula ang pagbabago sa sarili, ngunit hindi tumitigil ang pagbabago sa sarili lamang. Marapatin lamang sana natin na tumayo para sa respeto at dignidad ng ating bansa at ng ating Saligang Batas, kapatid, dahil kung patuloy tayong magbubulag-bulagan sa suliranin ng bansa. Para sa akin, mas matinding kasalanan ng paglimot at katamaran ang pananahimik at pagsuko sa kapangyarihan ng walang pakikibaka para sa pagbabagong nalalaman at nadarama ng mamamayan.

    Kung tatayo lamang tayo sa tabi at hindi papanig sa kung ano ang sa tingin natin ay tama, wala tayong binago sa bayan o sa sarili. Ang kawalan ng paninindigan at kawalan ng aksyon ay isang magandang halimbawa ng pag-aaksaya ng oras. Hindi sayang ang oras na inilalaan para sa bayan para baguhin ang sarili.

    • Juancho Lim
    • June 24, 2009
    Reply

    thank you for that enlightenment, sir. but sad to say I’ve done that and I’m sure a lot of Filipino have done the same, na hindi lang nakontento sa pag upo lamang sa ating mga tahanan, i’ve done that in several previous elections, but sad to say, sa wala rin napunta, napako pa rin ang mga pangako ng binoto nating mga pinuno, mga taong hinalal natin para makinig sa ating mga hinaing, may pagkakaiba pa ba sa darating na halalan? when all i can see are the same opposition politician faggots lurking beside or rather behind us, pushing us to demonstrate, to rally, to shout to the top of our voice. My point is, as long as those same face politicians, ma-pa opposition man o ma-pa administration, as long as sila pa rin ang mga player ng ating government, ay walang mangyayari. What bothers me was siguro some of us really forgive but never forget, but most of Filipinos do forget, dahil kung hindi sila makalimutin, how could they vote Imelda Marcos after all those 20 years of dictatorships, after those bloodless peaple power by fellow Filipinos, umalis para States nagpalamig lang ng ilang taon, balik Pilipinas at nanalo pang gobernador. tsk, tsk, tsk, as the saying goes ” Only in the Philippines”. heto na naman me plano si Erap, and other running politicians. The same old players as I said. Matanda na ayaw pang bumaba, as the saying goes again ” Masamang damo, matagal mamatay”. If I were to suggrest, EDUCATE THE FILIPINO PEOPLE, most specially mga barrios, kasulok-sulokan na baranggay, as they comprise BIG share of the VOTING PIE. I am not pointing that they are illiterate but i can say THEY ARE WAY TOO EASY TO MANIPULATE, with STRONG FOUNDATION OF EDUCATION, I am optimistic FILIPINO CHOOSE WISELY. I know this is a GARGANTUAN TASK BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE. As you mentioned “Change is gonna come, that’s for sure”, what change do we expect when only a handful of NCR Filipinos and other major cities are EDUCATED? FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND US? Kapatid, gaya ng sinabi po ninyo “Keber ka sa pangako nila, hinid ka nagbabayad ng buwis para tuparin nila ang pangako nila, kundi para gawin nila ang trabaho nila”, kung pangako nga e pinapako na nila, trabaho pa kaya nila?

  8. Reply

    Siguro bago tayo magsalita nang patungkol at naaayon sa sinasabing pangakong napako na wala namang katuturan at kinalaman sa Con-Ass. Maliban na lamang kung ang ipinangako nya sa iyo ay hindi sya sasali patungkol dito. Malay natin, na “naiba” ang pananaw nila ayon sa Magandang Palakad sa gobyerno at ang Con-Ass lamang ang sa tingin nilang makapagpapabago dito. – ito ang nais naming iparating sa kanila “Maari ito, pero hindi Ngayon. Kaya Itigil na! No to Con-Ass! Stop Con-Ass Now!”, Diba iyan ang sigaw ng nakakarami?

    Eto lang…

    Naikonsidera at hinagap mo ba, na yung binoto mo ay gumawa ng ilan sa mga nasa plataporma nya at iba pang mga proyekto sa haba ng kanyang panunungkulan?

    Siya nga ba ay binoto natin? Kung Hindi, wala na tayong karapatang manita kung hindi mo binoto dahil talaga namang sa una pa lang wala ka nang tiwala sa taong yun, ang magagawa lang natin ay “manindigan”, “ipaalam sa madla”, “ipahayag ang sarili”, “isulong” ang ideolohiya na gusto mong makamtan para sa ating bayan at ang mga gusto mong ginagawa nya ay nasa ayos. Yung bumoto dun sa taong iyon ang sitahin natin at bigyan ng kaukulang impormasyon para magising sila at matuto para sa susunod, kahit na konti, ay makakita ng pagbabago.

    Pero, kung binoto natin siya/sila, doon tayo magsimulang umangal dahil tayo mismo ang nagluklok sa kanya sa ganong posisyon. Dahil ang ginagawa nila, sa kasalukuyan, ay hindi naangkop sa ating kagustuhan bilang isang mamamayan, pangkalahatan, na nag-upo sa kanila sa pwesto.

    Alam naman natin na kung ikaw ay isang Taong Halal ng Bayan, ikaw ay dapat umayon sa mga pananaw ng nakakarami. Ngunit, tandaan natin na lahat tayo, bawat tao, ay may sariling pag-iisip. Gumagawa tayo ng mga bagay na para sa atin lamang. At sa lagom ng mga nangyayari ngayon, mukhang kabaliktaran at kabalintunaan ang mga ginagawa ng mga taong ito. At ito ang himutok ng mga mamamayan, maging indibidwal man o grupo, nais ipahayag ang nararamdaman nila tungkol dito.

    Sa huli, ang mga salitang nasabi ay, iyon nga… mga salita lamang, kung wala tayong ginagawa para makamit ang ating inaasam, ito ay walang saysay at katuturan.
    Ati ay walang halaga kung walang paninindigan.
    Palabra de honor, iyan ang nawawala na sa atin.
    Ang paninindigan ay hindi panandaliang bagay lamang.
    Dapat tayong pumanig sa isang bagay para makakita ng pagbabagong ating inaasam. Dapat tayong manindigan, hindi pansamantala, walang kasawaan, walang humpay, para sa ating kapakanan at sa kabutihan ng bayan. Kung maaring ipasa sa ating mga anak, ay marapat nating gawin, dahil ang pagbabago ay hindi mabilisan. Ang bagay na ginawa natin, sa ngayon, ay maaring maramdaman ng mga susunod na henerasyon.

    Mapa-pulitiko o Mapa-normal na mamamayan.
    Sino ba tayo para makinig sa isang taong walang paninindigan?

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