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No To Gloria's Cha-Cha
Feature Posted on September 18th, 2008.
The beleaugered administration of Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyocontinues to pursue its scheme of perpetuating itself in power throughrenewed efforts to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution. The spectreof Charter Change (ChaCha) has been said to be behind government movesto ink the Memorandum of Agreement between the government panel and theMoro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), thus spurring revival of debatesregarding resolutions and bills filed in the House of Representatives.
Among these resolutions are House Resolution 550 filed by Rep.Hermilando Mandanas which called for the postponement of the 2010elections to 2011, thereby extending the terms of all electiveofficials whose terms will end on 2010, Pres. Arroyo included; HouseResolution 737 primarily authored by Speaker Prospero Nograles whichpushes for the 100% ownership of foreign corporations, entities orindividuals of our lands, natural resources and corporations, therebyamending provisions in the Constitution protecting the country'snational patrimony; and a resolution by Rep. Luis Villafuerte majorityof the President's allies for the House of Representatives toconstitute itself as a constituent assembly, which is feared to openthe floodgates for amendments to extend the term of Pres. Arroyo andremove protectionist provisions in the Constitution. HR 550 has beenwithdrawn after much criticism, while HR 737 and the Villafuerteresolution are both being pushed in the Lower House to move for theSupreme Court's eventual decision on the constitutional question on theconstituent assembly.
Gabriela Reps. Liza Maza and Luz Ilagan pushed for the holding ofpublic consultations and hearings on the public's sentiments regardingChaCha, citing the existence of various surveys indicating thatmajority of Filipinos oppose Charter Change and Pres. Arroyo's termextension. In the National Council meeting of Gabriela Women's Partylast November 6-7, 2008, a resolution unanimously passed by thenational and regional officers of GWP reaffirmed the party's steadfastopposition to ChaCha. The resolution was submitted to the HouseCommittee on Constitutional Amendments.
The progressive bloc of GWP, Bayan Muna, and Anakpawis filed HouseResolution 888 opposing moves for the constitutional amendments until2010. Several lawmakers from the minority and majority have also signedthe resolution.
Amid these developments, protests and public statements against ChaChacommence with the daily protest actions and a broad multisectoralinterfaith gathering and action on December 12, 2008. Gabriela Women'sParty is part of the organizing committee of the December 12 activityin Ayala, Makati.