by Atty. Francisco D. Yap

After the adoption of the 1987 Constitution, prac-tically all Presidents, tried to have it amended to extend their terms under the guise of adopting constitutional amendments to attract foreign investors and other benefits that will solve problems of the Philippines, as if the problems of the Philippines could be solved by simply amending the Constitution.

Under President Digong Duterte, he is again obsessed at amending the constitution to make this country more progressive. Again the initial survey shows that most of the people opposed to it. President Duterte enjoys as of now a support of a vast majority of Congress, so he wants federalism to be adopted in the Philippines and these can easily be done by proposals adopted by Congress. So the President will most likely be the first President to successfully adopt proposed amendments to the Constitution. The people will ratify the proposed amendments or revisions by way of plebiscite.

Most likely, President Digong Duterte, will be the first President to successfully revise our Constitution. I hope that the revised Constitution will make the Philippines more progressive and solve the peace and order problem.

Or is this a misconception?

What is important is the people and not the Constitution. Japan has a Constitution single handedly crafted by General Arthur McArthur after Japan surrendered. Japan prospered under this Constitution which until now has not been amended and ironically it prohibits Japan from having an army, so Japan has only an Army for its defense. It has only a defensive army but it enjoys protection from aggression by allowing the United States Army to have bases in Japan. Hence, Japan becomes economically progressive without appropriating a lot of resources for its army.

China has a Constitution providing for a communist form of government. Until now China is a Communist state. It is only their economic system which they have changed to a free market which make China as the second economic power of the world. Again, it is the people that makes it progressive.

So in the ultimate analysis, it is the people that makes a country great and progressive.

However, if the political and economic system is communistic, it hampers that progress of the country as proven and exemplified by Cuba, North Korea and Russia.

President Duterte will succeed in adopting a charter change to a federal system of government. The effect will be more on the political changes but not on the economic side.

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