A Philippine parliament holds a better future for Philippine politics

The recent demise of Queen Elizabeth II has been the headlines of all international news agencies. For more than 7 decades, she has served as the head of state of the United Kingdom and other nation states, which includes Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The second Elizabethan era has witnessed Britain decline in power and influence, as various British colonies eventually declared their independence from London. Her reign has seen various American, British, and Russian heads of government, from Truman, Churchill, and Stalin, to Biden, Truss, and Putin. Due to her unwavering commitment to public service, her immense contributions to the British public were well received, including her capacity as the previous leader of the Commonwealth of Nations. The masses of the people in the UK have long identified themselves with the queen, as long queues of locals and even foreign dignitaries pay their respects to her. In addition, she has also been Britain’s most well-respected diplomat in modern history. With the passing of the longest serving British monarch, the UK is a nation filled with both grief and gratitude.

The British monarchy has also their own share of mishaps and controversies in its long history. Colonialism, imperialism, mercantilism, piracy, and slavery left their strenuous marks in global political economy. Nevertheless, the monarchy has served as Britain’s dignified institution, according to Walter Bagehot’s “The English Constitution”. Another institution was also mentioned by Bagehot mentioned in his book, and it is about the British parliament. This efficient institution, where the executive and legislative powers of the government are merged through 10 Downing Street, confronts and tackles the predicaments of the nation. Such brand of British democracy has been copied and adopted not only by its European neighbors, but also by other countries with great success. This leads us to question what makes the UK parliament an attractive system of government.

A parliament is basically an assembly of representatives from various administrative jurisdictions and sectors of the society. It is chaired by a prime minister or a chancellor, and usually serves as the head of the dominant political party. As the chairperson, such politician is raised to this position through consensus, concessions, and consolidation. In a parliamentary system, the executive powers of the prime minister and his cabinet is merged with the legislative powers of the parliament, since they are also legislators hailing from their respective constituencies. Merging these governmental powers are helpful in creating efficient and effective laws. On the other hand, the parliament itself becomes its own device of checking and balancing the administration through the opposition. The formation of a shadow government by the opposition ensures accountability through debates held in the parliament, as they attempt to contest possible excesses of the current administration.

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In the Philippines, the country has been following the American style of government through its presidential system. The president acts as the head of state and as the head of government. With the presidential system, executive powers are bestowed to the president, where the chief executive acts separately with the legislative branch of government. This works well when both the president and the majority of the legislators are politically aligned, but wreaks havoc when they act in completely opposite directions. In turn, this can lead to more political volatility and power abuse. These instances have been observed multiple times in the political histories of both the United States and the Philippines. It becomes worse when these politicians harbor political ambitions in vying for higher positions in the government.

These political gridlocks, which are more commonly observed in presidential-type of government systems, has been detrimental as threats of impeaching the president are being entertained in congress. Even though impeachment trials are afforded by the constitution as a check-and-balance mechanism, such issues can be greatly politicized and sensationalized. With such, politicians are incentivized to engage in leveraging themselves to pursue their personal interests, putting accountability in the backseat. Graft and corruption become the names of the game, as chief executives create and device nefarious machinations that purchase the loyalty of these legislators. In such a system, chances of politicians colluding instead of making themselves accountable greatly increase, as rule of law deteriorates to rule by law. This presidential system of government can also be attributed as one of the reasons why the most politically unstable, economically destitute, and societally chaotic countries are in Africa, South America, and Central America.

If the Philippines wishes to rectify the mistakes of the presidential system, it would entail changing the current charter. However, there are numerous pundits who continue to treat the current 1987 constitution as something that should be completely preserved, as if it was made by infallible human beings. In addition, there are individuals who are hesitant in changing the system of government to a parliamentary-type, due to reasons that are related with the current Philippine society. These would include the presence of an undereducated electorate, incompetent and corrupt lawmakers, and political dynasties. These social dilemmas become points of contention why Philippine politics remains dirty and that the parliamentary system should not be adopted, but these problems are mere by-products of an outdated system vis-à-vis the 1987 constitution.

When the eventual great powers of Britain, Germany, and Japan adopted a parliamentary government, did these nation-states have a significant educated or literate populations from the beginning? Initially, males of age from the landed gentry and mercantile groups were the ones afforded with the right to suffrage, and was later expanded to include laborers, women, and the marginalized. It was primarily due to their continued government investment in the fields of education and science that gradually made their cities highly productive. In addition, most of their lawmakers were initially from aristocratic families, who yielded power and influence in their respective localities. As a burgeoning middle class developed, they openly challenged these elites and eventually joined the political ranks in London, Berlin, and Tokyo. Even though various political families still hold a certain degree of influence in their parliaments, it is a far-cry from the semi-feudalistic political system that can be observed in the Philippines, where their political careers end up becoming their own businesses.

Adopting a parliamentary system in the Philippines will not change the whole archipelago overnight. However, it sets the tone in creating state institutions that responds to the needs of the society. A parliamentary system will compel politicians and their corresponding political parties to shape up. But with the country’s lengthy history with directly electing presidents, a paradigm shift would be greatly needed. With a Philippine parliament, there would be more inclusive political institutions that will eventually create an atmosphere of accountability, competence, and receptiveness to the plights of the Filipino people.

39 Replies to “A Philippine parliament holds a better future for Philippine politics”

  1. Filipinos are sui generis incomparable to other races you have mentioned where parliamentary system of govt works for them. Sadly, parliamentary system is detrimental to PH politics. There will be concentration of powers both in executive and legislative branches of government where dominant party and its allies in congress will just do everything to stay in power forever even if it is so abusive. Nobody trust Filipino politicians to be humble and dignified. Congress can’t even simply pass anti dynasty law even if it is a policy of the constitution because everyone wants to stay in power.

    Just look at Gloria Arroyo, it appears she doesn’t want to give up politics long after she became president. She is always greedy and hunger for power. She is like former president FEM who cancelled presidential election and changes presidential system to parliamentary for him to prolong his presidency for 20 years straight. If possible, they don’t want to share powers with others as if they made this country progressive into a first world calibre. But no, Filipinos suffered a lot in their time.

    1. “Filipinos are sui generis incomparable to other races you have mentioned where parliamentary system of govt works for them. Sadly, parliamentary system is detrimental to PH politics. There will be concentration of powers both in executive and legislative branches of government where dominant party and its allies in congress will just do everything to stay in power forever even if it is so abusive. Nobody trust Filipino politicians to be humble and dignified. Congress can’t even simply pass anti dynasty law even if it is a policy of the constitution because everyone wants to stay in power.”

      OWhy don’t you tell what you just wrote to Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Great Britain, and EVERY PARLIAMENTARY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!

      FYI parliamentary could care less about political dynasties. Tell that to Lee Hsien Loong (a member of a political dynasty) that political dynasties are always bad. Go ahead, tell him!

      A parliamentary system will be better. Why? The government is at more or less EQUAL FOOTING with the opposition. Notice how Lee Hsien Loong interacts with the opposition. The 31M voters are HELD ACCOUNTABLE if we were in a parliament. Leni Robredo herself will act as the opposition leader if BBM were prime minister.

      “Just look at Gloria Arroyo, it appears she doesn’t want to give up politics long after she became president. She is always greedy and hunger for power. She is like former president FEM who cancelled presidential election and changes presidential system to parliamentary for him to prolong his presidency for 20 years straight. If possible, they don’t want to share powers with others as if they made this country progressive into a first world calibre. But no, Filipinos suffered a lot in their time.”

      Once again, the SAME disinformation. The Marcos years were NOT a real parliament. Even Lee Kuan Yew the great parliamentary leader called Cesar Virata as NO POLITICAL LEADER. Virata was personally handpicked by his imperial majesty, Emperor Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. Virata was nothing but an overglorified puppet to his imperial majesty. Ninoy Aquino even said, “We had a parliamentary WITHOUT a parliament.” His majesty Marcos Sr. even made it that, “I can dissolve parliament but parliament can’t dissolve me.” That’s NOT how a real parliamentary works.

      Once again, very good job in spreading disinformation. I hope you fly to Singapore and tell them we were a real parliamentary. They’ll just laugh at you.

      1. Marcos years was a modified parliamentary system but it was parliamentary nonetheless if we based on functions and form, not on whose opinion like yours or that of Lee Kuan Yew. For example Marcos Sr. issued presidential decrees, and they were given same effect as those of republic acts as official laws of the land. In presidential, president cannot issue such decree with same effect of republic act. Gloria Arroyo tried it before when she was president, but it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

        Judging by your name and your argument akizuki, seems to me you are not a real Filipino with real Philippine experiences because it appears you don’t know the mindset of most of people’s representatives (congressmen) here and their allies in the senate and executive. To enlighten you with the reality here, most of them won by vote buying or most of them spent millions of money far bigger than their compound salaries for 3/6 years. Wonder how they get back what they spent or their so called donors money? You guess. If possible they will stick to the idea on how to perpetuate themselves in office. They will not resign from their post even with controversies so long as they are not proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the court of law. If they have an ally in a parliamentary system and he serves their selfish interest, trust me they will not allow anyone in the opposition no matter how logical or rational his arguments are in a debate, they will be simply dismissed. I bet they won’t even have an election for new leader as prime minister. Hence, parliamentary system will not be bringing transparency and good governance in the Philippines. It will be just be an avenue of abuse of power and authority and collusion/conspiracy to stay in power with impunity. This is the Philippines, incomparable to other developed countries you mentioned above.

        1. “Marcos years was a modified parliamentary system but it was parliamentary nonetheless if we based on functions and form, not on whose opinion like yours or that of Lee Kuan Yew. For example Marcos Sr. issued presidential decrees, and they were given same effect as those of republic acts as official laws of the land. In presidential, president cannot issue such decree with same effect of republic act. Gloria Arroyo tried it before when she was president, but it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.”

          Once again you are ALWAYS SPREADING DISINFORMATION. Marcos Sr. was ousted as a PRESIDENT. Do I need to repeat many times that Cesar Virata was nothing more than an overglorified puppet of Marcos Sr.? Take note that LKY called him a NON-STARTER and NO POLITICAL LEADER. How is that for a real parliamentary? Under Marcos, it was a MOCKERY and nothing more like the Imperial Senate of Emperor Palpatine.

          In short JASON (maybe, I should call you Jason VORHEES now) is that the Marcos Sr. Years was nothing more than Marcos Sr.’s imperial regime. He was practically an EMPEROR and NO SYMBOLIC LEADER. Virata was nothing more than his puppet.

          Why don’t you do more research than just rely on your “1987 is the best in the world” mindset?

        2. Sean Akizuki,

          Seems to me you are clueless and no idea on specifics.

          I already gave you the basis in my previous statement why I thought it was modified parliamentary government: because of the issuance of Presidential Decree by Marcos Sr which you did not refute, although I would agree it was more like a fascist rule but it was nevertheless a parliamentary government. I guess you have no idea that 1973 constitution was modified several times and why Marcos Sr, as you said, was ousted as a president, not a prime minister. Here I did my research and will spoonfeed you with facts:

          “The 1976 amendments to the 1973 constitution were: an Interim Batasang Pambansa (IBP) substituting for the Interim National Assembly, the President would also become the Prime Minister and he would continue to exercise legislative powers until martial law should have been lifted. The Sixth Amendment authorized the President to legislate: Whenever in the judgment of the President there exists a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof, or whenever the Interim Batasang Pambansa or the regular National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any matter for any reason that in his judgment requires immediate action, he may, in order to meet the exigency, issue the necessary decrees, orders or letters of instructions, which shall form part of the law of the land.”

          Notice above the issuance of decrees as part of the law of the land, which I cited in my previous comment as a function of prime minister.

          Now the reason why Marcos Sr was ousted as president and not as a prime minister:

          “The 1981 amendments to the 1973 constitution, the parliamentary system was modified: executive power was restored to the President; direct election of the President was restored; an Executive Committee composed of the Prime Minister and not more than fourteen members was created to “assist the President in the exercise of his powers and functions and in the performance of his duties as he may prescribe;” and the Prime Minister was a mere head of the Cabinet.”

          That 1981 amendment is an answer to your incessant Cesar Verata theory as a mere puppet of president Marcos Sr.

          I hope you will not accuse me of spreading disinformation now. I already justified my answers for your convenience. Next time, you do your research and not just rely on your opinion and the opinion of others.

        3. @Jason VORHEES

          Tell me which country that is a parliamentary government has a president which is also a PRIME MINISTER or where the president has powers and the prime minister is but an over glorified puppet like the late Cesar Virata?

          Singapore has a PRESIDENT (Halimah Yacob) who is but symbolic to the nation. The one who calls the shots is Prime Minister LSH. Man, I wonder how he’d react at your comments.

          Consider this information from the late greta LKY:

          Pages 301-302 said this of Virata as a “prime minister” in a MOCK parliament:

          As soon as all our aides left, I went straight to the point, that no bank was going to lend him (Marcos, emphasis mine) any money. They wanted to know who was going to succeed him if anything were to happen to him; all the bankers could see that he no longer looked healthy. Singapore banks had lent US$ 8 billion of the US$ 25 billion owing. The hard fact was that they were not likely to get repayment for some 20 years. He countered it that it would be only eight years. I said the bankers wanted to see a strong leader in the Philippines who could restore stability, and the Americans hoped that the election in May would throw up someone who could be such a leader. I asked whom he would nominate for the election. He said Prime Minister Cesar Virata. I was blunt. Virata was a NON-STARTER, A FIRST CLASS ADMINISTRATOR, BUT NO POLITICAL LEADER, further, his most politically astute colleague, defense minister Juan Enrile, was out of favor. Marcos was silent, hen he admitted that succession was the nub of the problem. If he could find such a successor, there would be a solution. As I left, he said, “You are a true friend.” I did not understand him. It was a strange meeting.

          With medical care, Marcos dragged on. Cesar Virata met me in Singapore in January the following year. He was completely guileless, a political innocent. He said that Mrs. Imelda Marcos was likely to be nominated as the presidential candidate. I asked how that would be when there were other weighty candidates, including Juan Enrile and Blas Ople, the labor minister. Virata replied it had to be with “flow of money”; she would have more money than other candidates to pay for the votes needed for nomination by the party and win the election. He added that if she were the candidate, the opposition would put up Mrs. Cory Aquino and work up the people’s feelings. He said that the economy was going down with no political stability.

          Can Virata be seriously considered a prime minister? That Marcos “Parliament” as said was just like Emperor Palpatine’s imperial senate. Or think of these words by Ninoy:

          And so my friends, we started with an American-type constitution, we move to a British-type constitution. We had a parliamentary form of government without a parliament. Until 1978, we did not have a parliament. And yet, we were supposed to be a parliamentary from of government. And Mr. Marcos said, “I declared martial law to save democracy.” But by saving democracy, he killed it.

          And so my friends, it was not until 1978 that the Batasan was convened. Now, what do we hear? Mr. Marcos once again, is up again to his new tricks. He said, “I lifted martial law but I think we should now elect a president by direct vote.” But there is not such thing. Under the new constitution now, the president is purely ceremonial. Tagabukas lang ng pinto, tagatanggap lamang ng credential ng ambassador. Purely ceremonial elected by parliament, he is not elected by the people. The power of the government under a parliamentary system lies within the Prime Minister. And the Prime Minister must be elected by parliament, and this prime minister may be removed from office, if there is a vote of no confidence. That is the British type. So what did Mr. Marcos do in 1976? He amended the constitution and said, “I, Ferdinand Marcos, as Prime Minister/President, may dissolve parliament, but parliament cannot dissolve me.” And then he said, “Parliament may legislate, but if I think they’re not doing their job, I will also legislate.” So now we have two parliaments, Mr. Marcos and parliament. And it’s costing us 300 million to have that tuta parliament, what’s the use? If Mr. Marcos is doing all the legislation, why keep these 200 guys? So what do they do? They change the name of the street of Divisoria. They change the name of a school. But when it comes to public decrees, like Public Order Code 1737, only Mr. Marcos signs it. And so we have a situation, where we have a man who can dissolve parliament, but parliament cannot dissolve him. And under the Amendment No. 6 of the 1973 constitution, Mr. Marcos is a president-for-life. And now, all of a sudden, two weeks ago, sabi niya, “I have lifted martial law but I now want to go to the Filipino people, and I want their mandate of 8 years. I will defend martial law. Anybody who oppose it can oppose me. I want to go to the people and get their mandate.” But how can you get the mandate? There’s no such thing in the constitution. Sagot ni Marcos, “Let us amend it.” So now, we are going to amend again the constitution. And so we ask Mr. Marcos, but what form of government will we have? “Ahh,” sabi niya, “I want a president with powers.” What happened to the parliamentary British? Forget it. Let us now go to France. Let us have a French model. And so my friends, it is like the odyssey of Jules Verne “80 Days Around the World”. We started with America. We went to England. Now we are going to France. Under the new proposal of Mr. Marcos, we will now have a president and a prime minister. But the prime minister will be appointed by the president. And this president now will be all powerful. It will not be the American type; it will be the French type. And I suppose two years from now, when he gets tired of that, he will go to the Russian type, whatever that is.

          I guess I can assume you still think the 1987 Constitution is the best in the world, right? If it were then why are we left behind by the ASEAN neighbors even after many years it was implemented?

          Guess what? The best countries in the world today are under a PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT. Coincidence? Britain? Singapore? Malaysia? Does that ring a bell? Again, you still KEEP INSISTING THAT THE MARCOS YEARS WERE A PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT. No, it was just a MOCK PARLIAMENT.

          I guess you still want to say parliamentary system is evil, right?

        4. I think we both agreed already that it was an abusive fascist/dictatorial regime of Marcos Sr who wanted to stay in power for life and who designed a government that was fitting to his own selfish interests whether presidential or parliamentary or modified presidential or modified parliamentary system it all boils down to his one goal. I justified my answer based on encyclopedia, while you justified yours based on LKY book. My source is impartial, your source is based on LKY’s experience and understanding. Nevertheless, what transpired proves no doubt Marcos Sr toyed Filipinos and insulted their intelligence by amending several times the constitution to suit his agenda.

          Im still not favoring parliamentary system of government here not because it is bad or good but because of the mindset of leaders we have which they will use to become an avenue of more abuse of power unlike the developed countries you have mentioned. I will repeat again what I wrote above:

          “It appears you don’t know the mindset of most of people’s representatives (congressmen) here and their allies in the senate and executive. To enlighten you with the reality here, most of them won by vote buying or most of them spent millions of money far bigger than their combined salaries for 3/6 years. Wonder how they get back what they spent or their so called donors money? You guess. If possible they will stick to the idea on how to perpetuate themselves in office. They will not resign from their post even with controversies so long as they are not proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the court of law. If they have an ally in a parliamentary system and he serves their selfish interest, trust me they will not allow anyone in the opposition no matter how logical or rational his arguments are in a debate, to overwhelm them, they will simply be dismissed. I bet they won’t even have an election for new leader as prime minister. Hence, parliamentary system will not be bringing transparency and good governance in the Philippines. It will just be a source of abuse of power and authority and collusion/conspiracy to stay in power with impunity.”

        5. @Jason VORHEES

          “I already gave you the basis in my previous statement why I thought it was modified parliamentary government: because of the issuance of Presidential Decree by Marcos Sr which you did not refute, although I would agree it was more like a fascist rule but it was nevertheless a parliamentary government. I guess you have no idea that 1973 constitution was modified several times and why Marcos Sr, as you said, was ousted as a president, not a prime minister. ”

          Now you acknowledge that it’s been MODIFIED (better said, BASTARDIZED AND MUTILATED) SEVERAL TIMES. That’s what Ninoy Aquino was POINTING OUT AT. But did you read the statement, “We had a parliamentary WITHOUT A PARLIAMENT.” How can I take the statement seriously that his imperial majesty, Emperor Marcos Sr., established a real parliamentary government if:

          1.) Marcos Sr. said he can dissolve parliament but parliament can’t dissolve him.

          2.) Marcos Sr. was first both president and prime minister. Later, Marcos Sr. HANDPICKED Cesar Virata as a state secretary of sorts. As prime minister, Virata was working for a monarch and not leading the people in the Marcos Empire.

          3.) As Ninoy mentioned, we had the British type (supposedly) then it came like Jules Verne’s 80 Days Around the World.

          In short, as Ninoy pointed out, we really NEVER had a real parliament. A parliamentary without a parliament? So, Marcos went from a supposed parliament to a HYPER-PRESIDENTIAL.

          Also, in regards to Lee Kuan Yew, are you smarter than him? Did you know Singapore was once so full of corrupt officials that it was a serious clean-up? Did the parliamentary system worsen the ongoing corruption when Lee rose to power? I bet you want to tell his son that. His son, PM Lee Hsien Loong will probably just call security and you might get a caning in Singapore.

          “Marcos years was a modified parliamentary system but it was parliamentary nonetheless if we based on functions and form, not on whose opinion like yours or that of Lee Kuan Yew. For example Marcos Sr. issued presidential decrees, and they were given same effect as those of republic acts as official laws of the land. In presidential, president cannot issue such decree with same effect of republic act. Gloria Arroyo tried it before when she was president, but it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.”

          The word MODIFIED means it was BASTARDIZED. Yes, Marcos Sr.’s s0-called parliament (I guess you will still insist your data is right at we were a Parliament even if the data you show says it’s a MOCKERY) did have him issuing decrees. The big problem is Marcos Sr. was still, in effect, president. Besides, if you want to prove LKY wrong then go ahead and do it in Singapore. I hope his son doesn’t have you caned.

          Also, I’d like to quote from Philippine Star’s Andrew J. Masigan in regards to the parliamentary system:

          FEDERAL-PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT

          As mentioned earlier, the Duterte administration plans to a shift our form of government from a Unitary-Presidential form to a Federal-Parliamentary form. To better appreciate how a Federal-Parliamentary system works, it s best to look at it in contrast to a Federal-Presidential system.

          A Federal-Presidential system offers no change to the current system where the President is elected through a national election and heads the executive branch. He has no sway on the judicial or legislative branches except through party-line influence. The United States operates under a Federal-Presidential framework.

          A Federal-Parliamentary system , on the other hand, encourages people to vote according to political parties. Here, the citizens elect their Members of Parliament (their representatives), most often, based on the ideology of the party they belong to, not on their personalities. The party with the most number of elected representatives is declared “the parliament.” The parliament elects its Prime Minister (PM) from among themselves. The PM, in turn, selects the members of his Cabinet (his ministers) from among the members of the parliament.

          There are multiple advantages to this. First, the system does away with expensive and divisive presidential elections. It puts an end to the vicious cycle of presidential candidates resorting to corruption and incurring political debts just to raise funds for their campaign.

          Even the poor can run for office so long as they are capable. This is because elections are funded by the party. In a federal-parliamentary system, we do away with people who win on the back of guns goons and gold.

          Moreover, since the members of parliament selects the Prime Minister, they can easily remove him through a vote of no-confidence should he fail to fulfill his mandate. We do away with the tedious process of impeachment. And since the ministers are selected from the Parliament, no one gets a free ticket to the Cabinet just because they are friends with the President or nominated by a political ally. The ministers all have mandates and are accountable not only to the PM but to their constituents.

          The parliament is a unicameral legislative body. Thus, bills can be made into law faster and cheaper.

          A parliamentary system is one where a “shadow Cabinet” exists. A shadow Cabinet is the corresponding, non-official Cabinet composed of members of the opposition. Each Cabinet minister has a shadow equivalent who is mandated to scrutinize every policy done by the official minister. The shadow minister may offer alternative policies which can be adopted if it is deemed superior.

          In the end, the systems allows policies to be better thought out with appropriate safeguards to protect the interest of the people.

          Among the seven wealthiest democracies (the G7 nations), only US and France follow a presidential system. the rest subscribe to a parliamentary system.

          The intentions of charter change is good. Done right, it could be a game changer for the nation.

          If anything, I’d like you to read these for yourself:

          Are Anti-Reform Pinklawans Saying That The Marcos Sr. Years Were Parliamentary Out Of Ignorance Or Of MALICE?

          No Parliamentary System, No LKY & No Mahathir

          Then again, I bet you’re still stuck in your “1987 Constitution is Da Best in Da World” comfort zone huh?

        6. @sean akizuki:

          “Did you know Singapore was once so full of corrupt officials that it was a serious clean-up?”

          How serious was the clean-up exactly? Honestly now, does caning really suffice or there’s something more than that? Tell us please, was the Singaporean teen lying or has become a threat to national security, that he got himself jailed… for acting like a teenager? He reminds you of typical anti-Marcos entitled wokes here having their field day? You can just imagine how far more serious this ‘clean-up’ might have been for Lee Kuan Yew if he was to deal with a Singaporean armed resistance group during his time too.

          “That’s what Ninoy Aquino was POINTING OUT AT. But did you read the statement, “We had a parliamentary WITHOUT A PARLIAMENT.” ”

          Can you point out who’s specifically denying that it wasn’t a modified model?

          Or could it be just only Ninoy himself, who ‘did his research’ (a la Jabidah massacre myth), the ‘very brilliant man’?

          The ‘brilliant man’ whom the late journalist Louie Beltran called as the Senator being “the Star of the Senate who has no bill”. The brilliant man who had written no book to his credit. The brilliant man that made Mr. Paul Farol of GRP so curious, enough to sincerely and with all due respect ask:

          “What law or measure has Ninoy Aquino done that actually, profoundly, and enduringly benefitted the Filipino as a united people and not just a certain sector thereof?”

          https://www.getrealphilippines.com/2018/06/what-has-ninoy-aquino-actually-achieved-that-makes-him-better-than-other-opposition-leaders/

          Anyway, according to then Defense Minister Juan Ponce-Enrile, in a conversation with Manila-based foreign correspondents at that time, that the new governmental form, described as similar to the French presidential system, was devised to avoid the adversary nature of the American system or the instability of the pure parliamentary form.’

          The late President Marcos himself even spoke about it in C-Span video. So What?!

          Marcos explains:

          “…the relationship between our country is something undefined.

          “Our interests may have diverged in the period after our recovery of national independence in 1946. But this relationship has endured and the question that is often asked is: “Does the Republic of the Philippines differ from the American Republic?”

          Yes and no. It doesn’t differ in the sense that it is democratic but it differs in the sense that we have a Prime Minister and in the sense that WE TRY and MAKE the LEGISLATURE and the PRESIDENT or the Executive WORK TOGETHER. We cannot afford any stalemates. We cannot afford any delays.

          It is a MODIFIED PRESIDENTIAL FORM OF GOVERNMENT while yours is complete and pure presidential form of government.

          WHY DID WE CHANGED THIS? Because we cannot afford stalemates and deadlocks. Yours is a strong economy and a military power. Ours is a weak country, it cannot afford to delay and postpone decisions pending the debates between Congress and the President or the Prime Minister. The poorer third world countries cannot. And so my friends that is the situation…

        7. Sean Akizuki,

          Again, parliamentary system of government will not work in the Philippines. It is presidential since 1900 and to shift to parliamentary is an unfamiliar territory plus the Filipino politicians are only after corruption even to the expense of taxpayers. No matter how you change the branches of tree, if the same monkey mentality that will manage the system, they will find a way how to corrupt and corrupt absolutely through conspiracy in committing a crime. Just look at the Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Internal Revenue in the Philippines, the system in those bureaus was modified several times but employees still find a way how to commit a crime through bribery and corruption of public officials. It is all about the ways, means, and mentality of officials that will really need to change first. National leaders should lead an example. We need strict leaders to lead the way. But BBM is someone not capable. He cannot even absolutely axe his former Executive Secretary. Philippines has a long way to go. We need mature voters first who will choose substance rather than famous familiar names and faces.

  2. Im open to the idea of a parliamentary system but I have misgivings like the kind of people who are in the lower house (congressmen) having the say on who becomes head of government (chief executive) at all times and the concept of parliamentary supremacy which means the courts won’t be able to stop parliament if a party has the numbers and its like being able to change the constitution like a piece of legislation. I mean just look at what’s happening at Spain and Italy or even Japan and Britain its not really as stable as its sold out to be.

    Plus the Filipinos people more often than not equate parliamentary with federalism which is an entirely different thing.

    1. Agree, these countries that have become so politically divided are nothing to look up to.

      The goal should be to limit politicians and their power.

  3. The Philippines needs a system where there is very little chance of corruption.

    Corruption is so ingrained that everyone accepts it.

    Only a system where corruption is punished will any change actually happen.

    Parliamentary system seems much too confusing.

    Philippines needs a simple system where lawyers are very limited and the money simply goes to where it is decided by the people.

    A system where voters vote on bills/propositions for their local area would be much more effective than letting corrupt politicians make decisions.

    Take the power away from politicians. A system based on voters vote on bills/propositions seems much more effective.

    Voters will become educated because they have power. Currently they have no power (the same families win every election) so they accept the money for their vote.

    1. Too much confusing? Parliamentary system will consist of two-way street. The government and the opposition. If BBM leads the government then Leni leads the opposition. Leni will be tasked with representing her voters and her cabinet. Leni will have the sacred duty to hold BBM accountable in the weekly question hour. BBM must answer questions or risk getting removed as prime minister.

      You keep having the “vote wisely campaign” but did it really work? If you strive to be like Singapore – follow the parliamentary system. No parliamentary, no Lee Kuan Yew, no Mahathir Mohamad.

      1. A two way street is not a system to strive for.

        It becomes too devisive.

        Side A says misinformation about Side B.
        People are greedy and are selfish and never want to lose power (hopefully you can see that in The Philippines)

        Individuals are flawed. And giving one individual power (or a small group) leads to corruption.

        If you take the power away from the individual and give the power to the masses one would hope things start to get better (and the people have no one to blame, which leads to accountability)

        A system where people vote for a commander in chief is fine, but the goal is to take money and power away from politicians (mayor’s congressman, senators). The goal is to give money and power to the masses (local population) and they decide what happens with the tax money by voting on it through propositions/bills.

        And then local elections are held where the local people decide what happens with the tax money is much more powerful/efficient/fair than a system where political officials are elected and they decide (selfishly) what to do (steal) with the tax money….

        We are in 2022. The information age. Technology is amazing.

        There is no reason to elect flawed individuals who then get to decide what to do with the people’s money.

        The people should get to decide what is done with the money.

        A commander is needed for a countries defense. That should be elected. Chief of police is needed through election. Chief of schools etc etc

        In a country so diverse it makes much more sense for local regions to vote often about what money should be used for in their local region.

        You don’t need politicians for anything other than chief of police/schools etc. And the people could elect those positions…. or…. (the bad way) the people could elect a mayor to give those positions (this is how corruption happens…a friend or family member gets promoted to a position not qualified for…)

        Pushing a parliamentary system is not going to change much. The same powerful families will still be running the country 🙁

        1. “We are in 2022. The information age. Technology is amazing.”

          Why don’t you read how the parliamentary system is BETTER than presidentialism then? Why not read Lee Kuan Yew’s book From Third World to First?

  4. The 1987 constitution presidential type of government is just perfect fit for this country. Even with strict measures of checks and balances already in place under PH laws, people in government still found a way to corrupt because of conspiracy of anomalous deals and transactions by government officials. And they hardly get imprisoned. How much more if we shift to parliamentary system where conspiracy between the congress and executive officials will be easy to employ. As I said, nobody trust Filipino politicians to be dignified and humble, they will only find ways how to perpetuate in power specially if it will serve their selfish desires and agenda.

    And we cannot entrust parliamentary system in this current incumbent officials. Just look at the less than 100 days of BBM’s administration and it already produced numbers of incompetence, anomalies, and mediocrities. This I think is the worst less than 100 days of Philippine president’s administration. Most noted controversials are the DSWD unorganized giving of freebies turned into a mob rule led by Secretary Tulfo, the messed up planned importation of sugar where the executive secretary of BBM is the center of controversy that led to his thick face pseudo resignation where he is only planned to reshuffle to other cabinet position, higher inflation of basic goods and commodities, lowest peso value since former president Estrada, more hungry and unemployed Filipinos eating “pagpag” or leftover foods, corruption and bribery among others.

    This is what 31 million Filipino voters get by electing the high school graduate/college dropout president who appears unprepared for his post and does not know basic economics.

    1. “And we cannot entrust parliamentary system in this current incumbent officials. Just look at the less than 100 days of BBM’s administration and it already produced numbers of incompetence, anomalies, and mediocrities. This I think is the worst less than 100 days of Philippine president’s administration. Most noted controversials are the DSWD unorganized giving of freebies turned into a mob rule led by Secretary Tulfo, the messed up planned importation of sugar where the executive secretary of BBM is the center of controversy that led to his thick face pseudo resignation where he is only planned to reshuffle to other cabinet position, higher inflation of basic goods and commodities, lowest peso value since former president Estrada, more hungry and unemployed Filipinos eating “pagpag” or leftover foods, corruption and bribery among others.”

      A real parliamentary system, as said, has a government and an opposition. Just think of this scenario. BBM is the prime minister. Leni Robredo is the opposition leader. So think, weekly debates are LIVE. Can you imagine if BBM can’t answer Leni’s questioning? Can you imagine if Leni files an impeachment complaint LIVE on BBM if the latter fails to uphold the confidence of the legislative?

      Maybe, you’re still busy thinking that the Marcos Sr. Years were a real parliament. Newsflash! It isn’t! The late Cesar Virata was described by the late Lee Kuan Yew as nothing more than a SITTING DUCK.

    2. @Jason the 1987 constitution is not perfect, the protectionist measures in the constitution should be removed or else Philippines will never achieve true greatness, not even close. Why? Because Philippines have only very few people who can build big businesses, no wonder there’s a big imbalance in the country, cost of living is high, close to cost of living in Singapore while salaries are very low even for 3rd world standards, no wonder many Filipinos choose to work in other countries.

      1. No data,

        We had that protectionist policies since the 1935 constitution and the Philippines flourished in 1920s-1930s before world war 2 broke out, and then in 1950s to early 1960s. Those policies were later adopted by the 1973 and 1987 constitutions respectively. Duterte also passed Foreign Negative List and are effective now.

        To me, some things are not meant to be sold to foreigners like our land. Most Filipinos cannot afford to buy while foreigners specially the white ones can easily buy it. Thus, future generation of Filipinos of poor and middle classes will be hardly buying their own lands anymore because most foreigners acquired them in possibly higher prices already if they will be given the chance to own on their names. To me, the future of the Philippines will all depend on our leaders.

        1. @Jason that’s the problem, it’s always “foreigners buying lands” which I have no problem with. Many Filipinos still think that foreugn investment is foreign invasion. The Filipino First policy is a reason why Philippines is a failure and as long as the protectionism is not abolished, then Philippines will always be a failed country. Read this article.

          https://correctphilippines.org/filipino_first_fail/

          “To me, some things are not meant to be sold to foreigners like our land. Most Filipinos cannot afford to buy while foreigners specially the white ones can easily buy it. Thus, future generation of Filipinos of poor and middle classes will be hardly buying their own lands anymore because most foreigners acquired them in possibly higher prices already if they will be given the chance to own on their names.”

          It doesn’t matter, I don’t really care if this happens because if all forms of protectionism gets abolished, then foreigners will be attracted to do business in Philippines and then local companies should be forced to face real competition which will include giving employees higher salaries. If companies can’t compete, then they should just close down, it’s as easy as that.

          Having foreigners own lands beats having big imbalance in the country’s system which the cost of living is as high as a 1st world country’s cost of living while salaries are lower than 3rd world standards.

        2. No data,

          Filipinos are territorial, don’t want to be deprived especially of their land, identity, heritage, and culture. One of the main reasons why we have protectionist policy. Your proposal might be working in the future, but seems farfetched as of now. But I already cited above that even with protectionist policy in place since american occupation, the Philippines was able to gain rapid development in these years 1920-1940 and 1950-1969. I guess we just need the right, honest, and hardworking leaders.

        3. @Jason if what you say is true, then it’s the reason why Philippines is a failed country as it is now, a sick man of Asia. Deprived of land, identity, heritage and culture? Oh please, this is not invasion, this is an investment. Foreign investment is not an invasion, foreign investment should not be treated like a violation to a country’s sovereignty. In protectionism, the Filipinos are the ones suffering. Protectionism is a big reason why commodities in the country are very expensive. There’s no problem with foreigners being allowed to own lands in exchange for the country’s forward development which might break the horrible imbalance between the country’s cost of living and salaries. If many of your countrymen don’t want to abolish protectionism, then fine, they can suffer but I surely wouldn’t suffer with them just because of their stubbornness.

          Like the article said, only very few people in your country can afford to build enough businesses to generate the number of needed jobs let alone willing to do so. As long as protectionism is not abolished, the country will always be a laughing stock of Asia.

    1. Right. He was the one who orchestrated in changing the 1935 to that 1973 in order for Marcos Sr to extend his presidency, and now he is saying 1935 is the best while blaming the 1987 for the changes? I laughed a lot.

      Marcos Sr and Enrile changed the 1935 constitution to 1973 while declaring martial law for the facade of suppresing rebel groups like CPP-NPA and MNLF. I’m just wondering if these groups were not their own making? Because CPP-NPA assembled around 1968-1969, nearly years before martial law, and the MNLF in 1973 just so they can have justification to declare martial law? I wonder if Filipinos are not fooled all these years. Even after martial law and in 1986 when Marcos sr was ousted, there were still thousands of NPA and MNLF roaming around the Philippines. They were hardly suppressed at the time.

        1. @Sean Akizuki after reading the article you posted, I want to say that protectionism is a cancer in the Philippines which needs to be removed.

          Protectionism is the reason why commodities are expensive in Philippines and many protectionism advocates think that the country needs it so that Filipinos can have a Filipino made product and they think supporting Filipino products is patriotism. They intertwine protectionism with patriotism. Sir Donald Tsang of Hong Kong once said that keeping foreign businesses out of the country will just hurt the people. The 1987 constitution promotes Filipino first policy which is a form of protectionism.

  5. “If you strive to be like Singapore – follow the parliamentary system. No parliamentary, no Lee Kuan Yew, no Mahathir Mohamad.”

    Well, Singapore isn’t just all about Lee Kwan Yu and its parliamentary system alone as Sean Akizuki chooses to selectively highlight it his way. You can’t just overlook other contributory factors to its success.

    LKY original plan was to merge with Malaysia. He even cried like a baby when Singapore got booted out of that merger. In a way LKY got lucky with Singapore being blessed with its geographical location. The island sits in the middle of an important trade route connecting Asia to Europe that lead to it becoming into the financial and logistical hub of all of Southeast Asia.

    Despite the lack of natural resources it’s not prone to natural calamities and disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons. It has a small manageable population. No problematic Martial Law cry babies, no Yellowtard wokes, no phony human rights activists and no festering communist armed rebel groups to contend with.

    And no LKY and no Singapore like it is today without the mention of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.

    The city of Singapore was planned by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1822, and his layout for the city, the Raffles Plan of Singapore, largely survives to this day, even if the city has expanded greatly through the years.

    Raffles devised a set of policies and regulations that outlined the objectives of Singapore’s harbour, helping to establish the settlement as a free port. Singapore was chosen, by virtue of its strategic geographical location, to compete with other ports then under the control of the Dutch.

    LKY copied from successes of the initial efforts and contributions of Mr. Raffles.

    The ‘EQUAL FOOTING’ mentioned in the case of Singapore is dubious, how do you explain something like that that can only be true in theory?

    Say, there’s free election in Singapore but the nation has become a one party state under the People’s Action Party (PAP), whose rule still stands to this day. From Lee Kuan Yew to Lee Hsien Loong. From the father then to his son ruling uniterrupted for a combined term of more than 60 plus years, the Lees really have become much like the Kims of North Korea… they’re also power hungry.

    LKY drag Singapore into modernity even if that meant with an iron fist:

    – curtailed individual freedom
    – banned free speech
    – political opponents jailed without trial
    – draconian punishment carried out for rioting, violence, and drug use
    – hardline authoritarian approach even included public caning for chewing gum, graffiti and public drunkenness.
    – speaking out against the government was sued to bankruptcy.
    – religious extremists, communist chinese, malays who wanted to reunite with Malaysia were all silenced or worse.

    LKY’s solution to the potentially explosive underlying ethnic and social tensions was authoritarian rule, government control and intervention.

    Do Martial Law Cry Babies and The Yellowtards, Marcos haters, who don’t want to move on, now adore and worship LKY for employing his own brand of authoritarian rule?!

    1. I’m wondering… could a Lee Kuan Yew, if ever, he, by any chance, happens to rule over The Philippines with the prevailing political and socio-economic condition at that given time (Marcos’ time) still produce the same result as in Singapore for the Philippines?

      The Philippines is approximately 300,000 sq km, while Singapore is approximately 719 sq km, making Singapore 0.24% the size of Philippines. Singapore is about 417 times smaller than Philippines.

      I guess, it remains to be seen if the late Lee Kuan Yew could have been as capable or could have been as effective in running a much bigger state with a much bigger and more complicated problems than Singapore.

      I ask a question and it seems I’ve given myself an answer…

        1. @Akizuki: I intend to but unfortunately, haven’t got the chance to read LKY’s book.

          Hey, you seem to idolize and know more at heart than the average guys here about LKY and the formula he employed in Singapore. How about answering the above same question yourself? What’s your take? To what percentage can a LKY replicate his success in Singapore in a Philippine setting? Do you think of it as something that can be repeated elsewhere with the same result? Why or why not?

  6. @Delta

    As long as we remain in presidential politics – we can’t get a LKY. LKY is a product of several yeras of hard training, having survived the Opposition (all before Goh Chok Tong replaced him), and his son LSH had to prove himself.

    You should get the book on any shopping application you’re familiar with and try reading it. China and Vietnam followed Singapore’s ECONOMIC model and succeeded.

  7. It’s hypocritically funny that clown commenters here like Jason, Sean Akizuki think that Marcos had been abusive and acted like an Emperor and Lee Kuan Yew was not/did not.

    As fantards of Mr. Lee, these clowns see things with one eye open and with the other eye closed. This is a fact they totally ignore while they enjoy their freedom demonizing the elder Marcos, even extending the same to his son, BBM, the current President.

    Lee may have turned Singapore into a prosperous city-state but clearly he wasn’t interested in heady concepts of liberty.

    He arbitrarily detained alleged communists, chauvinists and extremists over the years using the Internal Security Act, a holdover from Singapore’s colonial past. It was detention without trial so concrete evidence wasn’t necessary.

    In 1963, opposition politicians and union leaders were deemed a threat to national security and arbitrarily detained, crippling the Barisan Sosialis, the biggest political threat to Lee’s People’s Action Party (PAP).

    In recent times, a Singaporean Teen was jailed for acting like a teenager. Amos Yee is evidence authoritarianism is alive and well in Singapore.

    https://www.techdirt.com/2015/04/15/teen-blogger-arrested-singapore-being-teenager-posting-video-government-doesnt-like/#comments

    Lee Kuan Yew Is Finally Dead!

    1. Gil,

      Marcos Sr was the one to be blame why the Philippines have in general all sorts of problems we have today. In his 20 years straight presidential regime, he killed the momentum of presidential election and peaceful nation since World War 2 because of 1973 constitution and declaration of martial law, killed democracy, CPP-NPA-NDF assembled, Jabidah massacre occured, MNLF was created, rampant human rights violations occured, OFWs started, plunder of public funds at least 50million started, swelling balloned national debts, cronies and nepotism politics, skyrocketed inflation, bankrupt economy in early 1980s, uncompetitive business climate, and most specially because of his culpability, he created the importance of Ninoy Aquino and Cory Aquino in the national pedestal with the yellow followers. Aquinos and yellow movement would not have been existed had Marcos Sr not abusive and greedy and people power revolution would not have happened in the first place. So it was all Marcos Sr’s fault. It was him why Aquinos are becoming heroes. All the hatred against Aquinos should not be thrown against them but to the root cause, the one who made them national figures now, none other than Marcos Sr who made the Aquinos famous.

      1. A standard clownish anti-Marcos argumentation from a clown that fails to deliver. Kenkoy arguments that fails to convince even former anti-marcos people to reconsider their support for the son who is now the President.

        Yellowtards are too lazy even to provide thought provoking support to a lost and dying claim about Marcos and Martial Law which insult the intelligence of critical-thinking Filipinos.

        Are you in effect just saying that all other administrations that followed after Marcos, from 1986 to 2022, and whatever transpired from the outcome of their governance of the country that may have influence its direction, be it, either towards progress and development or towards decline and underdevelopment are rightfully excused and exempted of any administrative blames despite of their failure to reverse whatever alleged trends the Marcos administration may have caused the Philippines and Filipino people?

        Then, you’re almost admitting that, as if most leaders of administration after Marcos are nothing but political scammers, who, in spite of their promises to save the country when they run for public office, who were given their time of 36 long years to accomplish a desired end – to put Marcos down, all the while, just belong to a group of incapable and inutile leaders as far as reversing and resolving the issues brought about by the Marcos rule?

        1. @Gil

          “Yellowtards are too lazy even to provide thought provoking support to a lost and dying claim about Marcos and Martial Law which insult the intelligence of critical-thinking Filipinos.”

          On the contrary, only few have critical thinking abilities, many don’t. If most Filipinos have critical thinking abilities, then most or all senators will actually do their jobs properly, but look at them, most of them just do grand standings, nothing ever happens in senate hearings, all they do is make recommendations, that’s it. If most Filipinos have critical thinking abilities, then why do officials with corruption issues and criminal records get elected? Why is political dynasty still a large part of the Philippine politics? Corruption is so ingrained in that country that people just accept it, some even get upset if the country or the gov’t is criticized for corruption. You call that critical thinking?

        2. Gil,

          Looks like you don’t have critical thinking and in-depth analysis of the whole situation.

          Most presidents after Marcos Sr ouster was the product of his own doing. Most presidents who followed him were somewhat excuse because they should not really be presidents in the first place if not because of Marcos Sr. The minds of voters were mostly altered in choosing the president after the revolution. After Marcos Sr, they considered voting the less educated but who appeared emotional for the people because they thought those who have brilliant minds like Marcos Sr will only be using their brilliance on how to corrupt. Look at the past presidents before Cory Aquino, most of them were highly educated and were lawyers and were experienced politicians capable of leading this country, but after them, people did not have the tendency to select the brilliant minds anymore.

          After EDSA 1, they installed Cory Aquino who was only a housewife. Who had no political experience and was not to be trusted to improve the economic status of the country but only to restore democracy. If not because of Marcos Sr’s abusive power, no way Cory Aquino will become president of this country, we could have elected someone capable, perhaps another lawyer since the 1973 presidential election if Marcos Sr did not cancel it.

          Then came Ramos who was chosen as president over the most qualified Miriam defensor Santiago because of people’s sympathy and debt of gratitude to the Aquinos because of Marcos Sr.

          Erap was chosen even if he was a college dropout than Devinicia who was more educated because Erap appeared to appeal to masses and who possessed the quality of being emotional towards the people. Same voters who thought having brilliant mind of a leader like Marcos Sr will only bring more corruption to the country, so they would rather choose who is less brilliant but as I said, appeared to be caring to the people specially to the poor because of the perception of not being corrupt, but look at what happened, Erap turned out as a convicted plunderer.

          Gloria Arroyo’s legitimate presidency was highly questionable in 2004 election. She won on the back of strong evidence of hello garci tape brought about by election cheating through the help of COMELEC commissioner. If not because of that cheating, people could have choosen the less educated FPJ, who clearly won with the same reason as that of Erap why they liked to choose president who had mediocre minds because of their perception of Marcos Sr.

          Noynoy Aquino’s catapult to presidency had the same reason with her mother because of people’s gratitude to Aquinos and the restoration of democracy.

          Only Duterte is I think different among the post edsa presidents. He won because of what he did in davao city, not because of any relation to Marcos Sr. But Duterte’s words and actions were unbecoming of a true lawyer.

          Finally, BBM won as president because of his father’s name Marcos Sr, and because of fake news and opinions that Marcos Sr was a great president, not because of what BBM did as governor and senator, nor his highschool graduate/college dropout educational background.

          You see, with the exception of Duterte, based on what I had mentioned above, the Philippines could have selected different presidents who were highly qualified and more educated, and who might probably led this country to greater development if not for Marcos Sr’s deplorable past deeds. Post world war 2 presidents managed to somehow develop the country up to first term of Marcos Sr. Post edsa revolution presidents did not meet the expectation of developing the country because they were less qualified and were not supposed to be our presidents, all because of changed of voter’s perception, all because of Marcos Sr.

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