Manila Episcopal Area

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Is Charter Change the Answer?

Some of our political leaders, among them are President Arroyo, ex-President Fidel Ramos, Speaker Jose De Venecia and a majority of congressmen have been campaigning for charter change as a solution to our political problems in the Philippines. This charter change is to transform our present bicameral legislature into unicameral abolishing the senate. The same people will run the government with no check and balance in place because of the abolition of the Senate and therefore the easier to abuse power. It is like the same dog changing its collar. Changing the system with the same people running the government is no change. True transformation must result in the transformation of our society and people.

True transformation comes when love and justice rule. As the Prophet Micah says, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

True transformation comes when resources of everyone are used for the building up of the whole society, especially the poor. In other words, resources are shared by all. Our situation is “inextricably tied to economics, politics, globalization, war, family breakdown, the AIDS epidemic, and other harsh realities.” Sin, violence, materialism, and radical individualism result in injustice and indifference to the suffering of others. The roots of poverty, and of the abuse of power lie in a society where greed and hate reign. There should be redistribution of wealth where the poor is uplifted.

True transformation comes when graft and corruption in government and in all institutions, public and private, have been minimized if not totally eradicated to benefit the majority of our people.

True transformation comes when we learn to care for the environment, the indigenous peoples’ rights upheld and they are treated as part of our society.

True transformation comes when the landless are assured of a land of their own, people are given jobs and security and everyone lives where the basic necessities of life are met.

The kind of government that can transform us that we may live to the fullest, as Jesus promised, is what we dream and aspire for. Give us such kind of government and leaders who would make this to happen!
- Bishop Solito K. Toquero,
The United Methodist Church
Manila Episcopal Area
Feb. 17, 2006