A farmers’ group said it will oppose efforts at the House of Representatives to tinker with the Constitution, saying charter change (ChaCha) will only benefit President Rodrigo Duterte as well as foreign powers and local political warlords.
In a statement, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the proposed 100% ownership of land by foreigners will worsen landlessness, poverty, and hunger among the majority of the Filipino population.
““The revived Charter change proposals will only make worse the current Constitution and will aggravate the situation of Filipinos now reeling from the effects and heavy burden of the pandemic and economic recession,” KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos said.
“ChaCha will also further bastardize the existing system of governance dominated by landlords and oligarchs,” Ramos added.
KMP is among the various groups that trooped to the HOR this morning as theHouse Committee on Constitutional Amendments is conducting a hearing on proposed revisions to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
The bill wanting to amend the Constitution was filed by House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco he said is aimed at removing the remaining protectionist economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
Other proponents of the change, such as Ako Bicol Representative Alfredo Garbin Jr., said the protections in the charter make it difficult for the government to create more jobs and improve the economy, more so that it has been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The KMP however said the move aims to further open the local economy to the plundering of land grabbers and large foreign corporations.
“The economic and political repercussions of ChaCha will be irreversible. Filipinos must fight ChaCha attempts to the end,” KMP said.
The farmers added it is like handing the entire Philippines on a silver platter for foreign businesses to devour.
“We cannot allow foreign businesses to take over our land, natural resources, media, and strategic industries. We cannot be second-class citizens in our own country. With ChaCha, everything else will worsen for Filipinos,” the group explained.
KMP warned that multinational agricorporations such as Del Monte, DoleFil, Sumifru and other large plantations, as well as foreign mining companies, will further expand at the expense of farmers and indigenous peoples.
President Duterte also earlier said he wants changes in the Constitution to remove the Party List system and punish Leftist parties that have consistently won seats in Congress.
“All democracy and freedom-loving Filipinos must [therefore] resist Charter Change and Duterte’s tyranny,” the KMP said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)