By Anna Valmero THE Filipino online community slammed the approval of House Bill 1109 that set up a constituent assembly (ConAss) that might allow the administration to stay in power beyond 2010. The approval of HB 1109 on Tuesday midnight empowered Congress to convene itsel f into a Constituent aseembly, where members of the House and the Senate could vote jointly to amend the 1987 Constitution. Filipino quickly jumped on the issue, as they launched an online website called No to Con-Ass!. Others li nked to this site, as they included an online badge that said, "Have you no sha me?" Filipinos also launched an open letter to administration allies at t he House of Representatives that read:
The Constitution is a defining moment in history. It is the height of creating a politics of freedom, identity, and national strength, created an d ratified on the basis that oneâs country is not designed and built on whims, but that of foresight and the common good. It sets a precedent for justice and fairness, and is the building block of democracy in free nations. June 2, 2009 was a defining moment in history. It is the height of a politics of ignominy, imprudence, and insolence; the approval of a shameless and ambiguo usly-worded resolution that threatens the very existence of this countryâs demo cracy. One that sets a precedent for injustice, unfairness, and opens the door s for corrupting, unchecked power. You made a grip on the very throat of this countryâs democracy, and choked it. Shameless. That resolution will be tested in the Courts, and perhaps maybe eve n struck out of the record one day. Forgotten, perhaps, but it should stand - and it will stand - as a testament to shame.Blogger Marocharim who wrote the statement noted that the letter was supposed to have been sent to Co ngress but he thought twice, saying that "maybe theyâll just throw it away.â Asked to compare going out in the streets or launching an online protest, Maroc harim says, "I see it as a new channel for resistance, like TV. I'm not saying that it will replace the old, kailangan pa ring mag-rally [we still need to att end a rally].â âI am not saying one blog entry will change the world. But from the Dumaguete ( National Summer) Writers Workshop I attended a couple of weeks ago, I realized how much we (writers) can do. Writing isn't about hits or self-promotion or for m and technique--it's about making changes both inside and out,â the blogger sa ys. He quips: âI happened to like my country enough, and to care for this nation en ough, to go in front of my computer and write something a small ripple but Iâm seeing a wave there somewhereâas plurkers link to the site.â Personally, he believes that the Constitution is better amended after the 2010 elections for the reason others cite tooâprudence. âWhen we take the time to sit down, discuss these house bill, get a move-on on the constitution, get everyone involved and educated, debate, disagree, agree-- that's how we do things in democracy; not that way, like they did June 2.â And this action is also reaching out to political figures: Manuel Luis Quezon I II took time to "plurk" a running account of what happened during the Wednesday House session and so d id Bayan Muna party list Representative Teddy Casino. More and more as Filipinos are indeed turning to social networking sites in hop es of swaying political debates.