Volume V, Number 05. March 15, 2023.
Last March 6th, the Philippine House of Representatives hastily approved a resolution enabling changes to the 1987 Constitution through a constitutional convention (con-con). Should the companion legislation in the Senate push through, delegates of the Con-Con will be elected on 30 October this year and will start rewriting the Constitution as soon as November.
Proponents of charter change (cha-cha) claim that the revisions will be focused on economic provisions, but introducing constitutional amendments with a Marcos and a Duterte in power is like dancing with the devil: a deceptive and dangerous move.
For one, it is no secret that all efforts thus far to change the constitution has been aimed at allowing foreign ownership of key industries to as high as 100%, leaving the Philippine economy further subsumed under imperialist interests. Such amendments will open the floodgates to more foreign direct investments (FDI) which has often led to the displacement of peasant and Indigenous communities via land-grabbing as well as relentless environmental destruction in the case of extractive mining and logging operations.
And despite claims that the changes will be limited to economic provisions, the Con-Con, once elected and convened is empowered to propose changes to any part of the document. And with a Marcos-controlled Congress and Senate, this runs the risk of introducing changes to term restrictions for elected officials including the president. Worst case scenario is that we see Marcos Jr. unceremoniously extending his term while corruption and fascist rule are institutionalized. If anything, Marcos Jr.’s objective in this Cha-Cha is to prolong his family’s claim to power and provide the necessary tools for the next representative of the ruling class to reinstate another dictatorship.
This dastardly attempt to revise the constitution is a mockery to thousands of Filipinos who gave their lives to oust the fascist dictator Marcos Sr. from power. It aims to rid the 1987 Constitution of its nationalist and anti-fascist provisions to pave the way for unbridled imperialist plunder and fascist dictatorship. If push comes to shove, the Filipino people must fight with all their might to resist the erosion of Philippine sovereignty and defend their democratic rights.