President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies in the Senate and Congress are now resurrecting Charter Change proposals in a desperate attempt to deflect the public’s attention to more pressing issues like the COVID-19 vaccination, rising inflation, absence of an economic stimulus in response to the pandemic, among others more urgent matters. “They are using the ChaCha to save themselves from public outrage, extend their lifeline, and remain in power beyond 2022.”
“Duterte-allied Senators Bato Dela Rosa and Francis Tolentino are acting as if they are doing something in the Senate other than burn their seats. This renewed proposal for ChaCha to amend the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution is also a rehashed attempt to extend term limits and perpetrate in power beyond 2022,” says KMP chairperson emeritus Rafael Mariano.
Year in and year out, reliable Malacanang allies always push for ChaCha. Dela Rosa and Tolentino filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 in December. The House Committee on Constitutional Amendments is gearing to start hearings on the ChaCha proposal. Congressional hearings on ChaCha will reportedly begin on January 13. “Duterte and power-hungry politicians have indeed limitless greed. ChaCha would only mean three things for Filipinos — further plunder of our local economy and natural resources, term extension for public officials, including Duterte, and outright violation of human rights.”
“Preparations for the 2022 elections have started and Duterte has only 500 days remaining in his term. He is obviously behind this Charter Change attempt. Duterte has ChaCha, federalism, “revolutionary government,” and Martial Law declaration up his sleeve. He is more than ready to play all these cards to remain in power and avoid prosecution for his crimes against Filipinos. Only Duterte and his cohorts will benefit from ChaCha.”
Reacting to Senator Tito Sotto’s statement that Duterte wants to proceed with Cha-Cha to revise the party-list system and go after the Makabayan bloc in Congress, KMP said Sotto and his absurd antics won’t do the public any good. “The party-list system was penetrated by known political dynasties and traditional political parties. It is unjust that the real representatives of marginalized sectors are being attacked outrightly by the regime in power,” says KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos. The peasant leader said Duterte has been consistent in his attacks and tirades against progressive party lists and human rights advocates.
KMP encouraged the public to remain vigilant and to protest against the Charter Change proposal. ###