Canlas: ‘The singer not the song’

IT IS high-time that our political discourse shifts from pre-occupation on stereotypes to a more sensible and productive level where it is clearly understood by ordinary citizens as genuinely attuned to the attainment of a progressive, peaceful and cohesive Philippine Society founded on social justice.

Meaning to say, the dissertation, particularly in this season of agitation for changing the Constitution, must relegate to the backseat the over-indulged invocation of such concepts as federalism, parliamentary system, and unicameralism to mention a few.

This is not to say that these political principles are losing their usefulness.

Indeed, these concepts, one or the other, have been adopted by not a few States with greater success in promoting the well-being of all their people.

And in that respect, whether the governmental task to be performed involves the development and utilization of their natural resources or the carrying out international relations in the area of trade and commerce, foreign investment or national security.

Yet, notwithstanding the length of time over its adoption, a sovereign people is not forbidden to try a new system of government to suit its national interest in the face of changing realities both in the home-front and global community.

Anyhow, early last week, I got hooked to a televised Senate hearing to listen to the converging and diverse views of the invited resource speakers composing of: retired magistrates of the Supreme Court, former Con-Con delegates, Constitutionalists, academicians and former senators.

As a late-bloomer who luckily hurdled the rigors of the bar examinations and being not privilege to avail the expertise of these learned guests, what they did say is a windfall on my modest reservoir of knowledge and understanding on certain constitutional doctrines and provisions of the Constitution. But then, again, for the –nth time, the virtues of federalism, parliamentary system, unicameralism, including the evils of political dynasty were expounded. Yeah! Repetitious partaking of the same menu no matter how delicious is not appetite-friendly.

Anyway, going back to the need for new ideas to enliven and give substance to the current debate on the issue of Constitutional Change, there are, at least, two relatively rarely propounded perceptions that visited the Senate hearing. One came from Supreme Court Associate Justice Vicente Mendoza who intimated without blinking that Federalism will result in the fragmentation of the Filipino nation both geographically and racial identity. Somehow, that perception appears convincing because of the archipelagic nature of our national territory and our regional cultural diversity. Thus, prudence dictates that before embarking on unchartered seas, it is essential first to seal the leakages of our Ship of State. This serious concern could be better taken up it some other time.

The second interesting perception voiced out by a popular female pillar of the academe is a simple restatement of the saying; “The singer not the song.”

I’m fine, it is not the lyrics alone that make a song endearingly unforgettable. It is the golden not golden-plated voice of the singer that captivate the trust and confidence of the serenaded gallery.

It is just like saying that a Constitution as a sovereign instrument in nation-building cannot be better than those entrusted to make it work. Or to be naughty about it, the boxer not boxing itself that makes a champion like Senator Manny Pacquiao.