Abolish both the Senate and the House

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

The current hullabaloo between the Senate and the House on an issue which is not urgent, not vital, and not responsive to the real problem of the nation is the best argument that we do not need 24 overpaid, underutilized, and irrelevant trapos in the Upper House and more than 300 non-performing and overly compensated politicians in the Lower House.

Both houses should be abolished and a new unicameral body of only 100 People's Deputies should be put in place. If the Constitution should be revised it should not only be economic but also political, and the first urgent revision is to abolish the present Senate and the present House of Representatives. Only people who studied Law should be made lawmakers, not actors, not wives of professional trapos, not comedians, and not retired generals. Only those who know the nuances of law and law-making should be allowed to run, even if they are not lawyers, as long as they know the intricacies of laws.

Actors, comedians, TV hosts can run for mayor, governor, even president or vice president. But they should not be allowed to run to become legislators if they do not even know the principles of check and balance, separation of powers, power of judicial review, executive privilege, parliamentary procedures, and parliamentary immunity. No one should be named chairman of constitutional amendments who is an actor and an ex-convict. The people should be respected and only qualified men should be allowed to make laws.

Every member of the legislature is paid billions from taxpayers’ money. Our country keeps on borrowing each year and the total national debt is to the tune of ?14 trillion. If we reduce the number of non-performing and highly troublesome legislators to only 100, we shall reduce the budget for Congress by one third and that means more tons of rice to feed our poor people, more houses for the homeless, more schools for the children, and better health services for the exploding population. Congress should not be too burdensome to the people.

We need to take advantage of the current momentum for charter change by abolishing so many nuisances in the government. If we only have one chamber of the legislature, we can expedite law-making, we can limit too many bicameral committees, we can avoid conflicts between senators and congressmen and we can have equal representation for all. The 100 legislators shall be taken from 82 provinces, that means only one deputy for one province, and the rest of 18 deputies should be chosen from sectors, like youth, women, seniors, PWDs, labor, OFWs, veterans, and all the rest.

We should limit investigations in aid of legislation, and we should prohibit legislators from disturbing executive officials and from insulting them publicly. Members of the Legislature should be men and women of high competence (no undergraduates, no comedians, no-ex convicts, no drug addicts, please) and unimpeachable integrity and probity.

Only one member of the same family within six degrees of consanguinity or affinity should be allowed to run, family dynasties should be abolished and never to be resurrected forever. Religious leaders should not be allowed to enter government service. They should choose between God and mammon. They cannot have their cakes and eat them too.

If this is done, I shall be very happy to run in an election without machine manipulation and without money and guns. And many others who are truly deserving that the incumbent trapos can be our true lawmakers, who shall be truly honorable and exemplary.

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