“Is this what he bargained in exchange for promises of investments from the US and Japan in his latest trips?”
This was labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s question to Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, referring to the agreement between the Senate and the House of Representatives to amend the 1987 Constitution through a bicameral constituent assembly.
Sen. Franklin Drilon, an ally of the president, announced that both Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte agreed to his proposal as to the mode of approving bills involving Charter Change or Cha-cha.
“We do not believe that Sen. Drilon is working all by himself. It doesn’t take an Einstein to know that the president is behind him in pushing for Cha-cha,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“Big capitalist countries like the US and Japan have been pushing for Cha-cha for the longest time now. We cannot help but think that the president got promises of investments flowing into the country by promising a Cha-cha,” he added.
Not just mode
KMU said workers and poor people have opposed Cha-cha not only because of the mode by which it will be carried out, nor by the possibility of extending politicians’ terms of office alone.
“The mode of Cha-cha won’t appease workers and poor people, contrary to what Sen. Drilon is saying. Neither will assurances that politicians’ terms of office won’t be extended,” Labog said.
“What workers and people have been opposing in Cha-cha are the very reasons politicians are pushing it now: the proposed changes in the economic provisions of the Constitution,” he added.
“We will not allow the removal of the remaining Constitutional limits to 100% foreign ownership of lands and businesses in the country. It will mean greater poverty and exploitation for Filipinos,” he said.
“Cha-cha will make us even more like squatters in our very own country. We are calling on workers and poor people to firmly and collectively oppose it,” Labog added. Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU Chairperson