The Unravelling

Anti-People’s Initiative Campaign: Diversity in Action

  • El Shaddai is opposed to Charter change.
  • The CBCP is against a government-sponsored People’s Initiative. The biggest Catholic educational institutions are also against it. The Businessmen-Bishops Conference is also against Charter change.
  • 21 out of 23 senators signed a resolution declaring the People’s Initiative of Sigaw ng Bayan as illegal.
  • A Regional Trial Court in Roxas City issued a temporary restraining order against the verification of signatures by the Comelec. Petitions are also pending in RTCs in different provinces.
  • Various legal groups have embarked on their own court battles to fight SnB’s PI.
  • Former senators are also preparing to launch their own anti-Charter change campaign.
  • A broad coalition composed of groups identified with the Right, Left, and Center agreed to put up a united front against the SnB/ULAP/DILG-sponsored People’s Initiative.

SnB’s People’s Initiative: Allies of the Administration

  1. Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) led by Special Envoy Donald Dee
  2. Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry led by Francis Chua
  3. Trade Union Congress of the Philippines led by Atty. Democrito Mendoza
  4. Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches led by Bishop Efraim Tendero
  5. Union of Local Authorites of the Philippines led by Governor Enrico Aumentado
  6. League of Cities led by City Mayor Jerry Trenas
    League of Municipalities led by Mayor Ramon Guico
    League of Vice Mayors
    League of Councilors
    League of Barangay Councils

Critical factors: (in any order)

1) Supreme Court decision
2) Avalanche of TROs
3) Survey ratings of PGMA/Charter Change
4) Onset of Election Fever (-ber Months)
5) Heightened interest in impeachment trial (i.e. credible witnesses, concrete evidence, new information, etc.)

The stakes?

Anti-Charter change : constitutional stability; PGMA until 2010 wih same powers; momentum for 2007 polls (for those with political ambitions) and presidential elections in 2010; Bill of Rights to remain as is, ditto with other provisions; impeachment still possible; opposition has the chance to work closely with middle forces.

Pro-People’s Initiative : recognition as authors of Interim Parliament; PGMA’s term becomes open to extension or abbreviation; lifting of term limits for LGUs, congressmen/women; abolition of the Senate; open slot for Prime Minister; no impeachment this year; SnB stalwarts assured of political appointments; a clean slate (hopefully) for the administration.

So which side will unravel first? And which side will win the hearts and minds of our people?

Author: Susan Ople

Susan "Toots" Ople is the President of the Blas F. Ople Policy and Training Institute. She's an OFW and labor advocate based in the Philippines.

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  • Hello Toots,

    Thanks for the response to my question in an earlier e-mail. I met your Dad for the second time in Paris when he came to address the UNESCO (along with US First Lady Laura Bush) but can’t remember if you and I were introduced. The first time was very, very long ago in the Jeepney lounge of the Intercon. I thought I’d let you know that my family has always considered your Dad was a decent man.

    By the way, on the subject of charter change – what is your personal opinion on the issue? I hope you don’t mind my asking.


  • estelle osorio

    it’s comforting to know that there are already a lot of organizations and personalities against Charter Change. a couple of weeks ago, it seemed like there were only a handful. the question, however, remains: will these organizations/personalities against charter change be able to act in unison? Because if they’re fragmented, I doubt they’d be able to derail the cha-cha train. :p

    anyway, i really like this post mom. 🙂 not just because it’s informative, but also because it deals with the charter change issue in a matter-of-fact way, like “what’s at stake” and “who are the players”. while tackling the principles behind charter change is necessary, i think it’s more important to make people understand what is really happening on the ground–because that is where the charter change battle will ultimately be won and lost.

    i hope other RTCs follow Roxas City’s example, and that the anti-charter change camp emerges victorious. 🙂 mabuhay ang! hehe. love mommy :p

  • Hi Toots,

    Thank you for dropping by my blog. I’ve just accessed your Pink blog and read more about you.

    Congratulations on motherhood.

    Also learned that you’re a dog lover. Me too! Used to have so many of them when I was a kid and even when I was a student in Paris many, many years ago, I had 2 in my tiny, tiny flat in Isle Saint Louis (what a mess!), Max whom I named after one of my closest friends (he said he didn’t mind but I think he did!) was a Brittany Spaniel and Tony was a Yorkshire terrier.

    Friends thought I’d gone bonkers for having two dogs in a very small Parisian student flat. But had great time with them, walking off leash on the banks of the Seine around the island. I trained Max to carry a wicker basket when were out shopping while Tony would saunter behind carrying anything I asked him to carry.

    They used to be people stoppers! People would stare at the two dogs both happily trotting, carrying things and boy, did we all walk from Paris Hotel de Ville to Champs Elysées and everywhere else very often. Dogs weren’t allowed to take the Paris subway – Max was just too big to be carried in a bag, could actually take tiny Tony in a bag but I didn’t want to leave neither of them in the flat when I went out on shopping or visiting friends so we ended up strolling all the time. Both died of old age.

    When hubby was posted in Malaysia some ten years ago, we had a big sized Tibetan Terrier-Lhasa Apso mongrel that we got from the local SPCA who must have been around 5 years old or older and was initially terribly timid. The children called him “Andaman” (after the Andaman sea) and lovingly turned him into a boisterous, fun loving family pet but he had one odd trait: Andaman didn’t like Indians!

    He onced seriously attacked and bit the Indian High Commissioner’s Indian gardener while the poor fellow was out clipping the bush in front of the Commissioner’s home (a neighbour). We were terribly surprised. Then he attacked our swimming pool cleaner, another Indian and bit him too and would chase him around the pool area so had to be kept tied (he didn’t like being tied and barked and barked) when the Indian pool cleaner was around. My husband’s driver then was also Indian and was attacked too so much so that we reckoned the dog was racist against Indians or people with Indian traits. We never found out why because the PCA history just said it was found erring in the streets of KL. Otherwise, he displayed civil behaviour to all others except to people with Indian looking traits. Sadly, we had to leave him in KL but fortunately to a dog loving British family who took over the house because we were moving back to Paris and were going to live in an apartment (not a life for a big dog who’s used to big space or a big garden).

    I felt very sad about leaving Andaman in KL and so did the children (although it was I who did the tasks of grooming, feeding, taking the dog out day in, day out – the kids didn’t like doing these things) so hubby gifted me with a wonderful Miniature Collie (still an unofficial breed in the dog lovers’ world). I also named Tony after my first Yorkie. Tony survived the hazards of Paris traffic walking off leash in the streets of the French capital and in other places in Europe for 5 years but was killed by a drunk Belgian motorist in Brussels two years ago (the drunken brute swerved his car on the pavement where Tony was walking alongside me).

    I was so distraught and didn’t want another dog but hubby seeing that I was terribly heartbroken got me an Australian Silky Terrier for my birthday a few months later hoping to cure me of my despondency. Her name is Toni (named after my Yorkie) and she is as lovely, endearing and as intelligent as the other three. We take her everywhere in Europe when we don’t have to fly.

    Ooops, this is turning into a dog story… Sorry Toots for being off topic – got carried away there… I just love talking about my dogs to another dog lover.

    Bye for now and take care!

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