No to US-INSPIRED CHARTER CHANGE, OUST GMA!

No to US-INSPIRED CHARTER CHANGE, OUST GMA!

AJLPP Update
Contact: Arturo P. Garcia
Phone- 213-241-0906
Email: ajlpp_socal [at] yahoo.com
June 3, 2009

US-Arroyo Charter Change Railroad Rolls On: US Imperialism To Blame for the Legislative Coup

Los Angeles— The Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines (AJLPP, or Alliance Philippines) strongly condemns US Imperialism and its fascist puppet-Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo (GMA) in meddling and directly intervening in the political process in the Philippines. The US government is pushing for Charter Change, or “cha-cha”, by amending the 1987 Constitution.

The AJLPP noted that it was very evident yesterday, June 1, 2009, when the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo controlled House of Representatives passed resolution 1109 that will convene Congress into a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution.

GMA, a Marcos Carbon Copy

The AJLPP said that GMA is just following the footsteps of dictator Marcos by tinkering with the 1987 constitution. Only this time not by a military coup, but a legislative coup. Despite the noises made by the Senate, they can legalize the move in the House when the Supreme Court decides on the so-called legality of the resolution.

The AJLPP described the move as brinkmanship on the political front. The next probable move will be a judicial coup in the GMA-dominated Supreme Court that may legalize and bless the latest legislative coup.

Proposed amendments are: 1) the 100% ownership of foreigners of lands and corporations, 2) the formalization of Visiting Forces Agreement and U.S. military bases, 3) immunity for GMA, 4) the change of government form from presidential to parliamentary form, and 5) the removal of the anti-nuclear provisions of the 1987 charter.

After hours of debate, it took only a few seconds for the House of Representatives to approve a resolution by viva voce vote that would convene Congress into a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution.



Voices of the Democratic Opposition: NO to Charter Change!

Media sources in the Philippines reported the opposition objections. Nueva Vizcaya Representative Carlos Padilla said the country witnessed a "simple tyranny of the majority" and called the chamber "the worst Congress in the annals of Philippine history."

“I believe in democracy, but this tyranny,” South Cotabato Representative Darlene Antonino-Custodio said.

"Have we no shame? Let us stop this farce immediately," Bukidnon Representative Teofisto Guingona III said.

“We oppose this, this charade… Let us amend the Constitution after the term of President Arroyo. That is the time to amend the Constitution of the Philippines. The best way to amend the Constitution is by constitutional convention,” said former Speaker and Pangasinan Representative Jose de Venecia Jr.

With the passage Nueva Ecija Representative Eduardo Nonato Joson likened the country to a woman fighting off a rapist, saying “Huwag po kuya [Please don’t, sir].” “Let us not gang rape our Constitution,” he said.

Representative Luz Ilagan of Gabriela party list (GWP) called the proceedings a "night of ignominy" where the administration allies once again used their numbers to push their agenda.

Quezon Representative Lorenzo Tañada III said he voted against the resolution because Congress does not need to pass one in its use of its inherent legislative powers. He added he is also against the "crass" manifestation that the House alone can act in amending the Constitution without engaging the Senate.

But the Proponents of the measure said that HR 1109 was “just an invitation to both Houses to convene in order to propose amendments to or revise the Constitution.”

Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora questioned the haste with which it was being discussed in plenary, with only two-session days left and with other key legislation pending for passage.

“Why the short cut? Why not go for the long haul, for the harder route? Why not eschew the easy path and make the amendments to the Constitution as important as the role of the committee on constitutional amendments?” Zamora said.

For more information on Philippine-US issues please contact Arturo P. Grcia at (213)413-4944 or email at ajlpp_socal [at] yahoo.com or visit our blogspot at alliancephilippines.blogspot.com