Days before his State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Noynoy Aquino continues to show no remorse in pushing for foreign-oriented policies despite opposition from nationalistic groups. This was the sentiment of members of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) as they marched to Mendiola today to expose the revival of talks about charter change (chacha) as another example of Aquino’s submission to US policies.
Yesterday, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. called for a discussion of the charter change proposals with PNoy. Several lawmakers have also supported amending the economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution.
“This maneuver by the Aquino administration to further accommodate foreign corporations in our local economy only proves this government’s pro-imperialist thrust,” says LFS chairperson Gemma Canalis.
The anti-imperialist group claimed that the motive behind the chacha is to allow the Philippines to become part of the US-led free trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). According to the group, the trade agreement would only give way to less regulation of foreign enterprises in the country while providing these companies with cheap labor.
“The plan to amend our constitution is just the latest scheme of the US-Aquino regime to freely exploit the Filipino people. If we were to step back and look at the President’s implemented policies, from the K to 12 program, EO 79, and the proposed chacha, we could see that all these only serve foreign demand and allow foreign companies to freely intrude in our economy,” explains the youth leader.
When President Aquino sought US support for joining the TPP during his US visit last year, US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas Jr. declared at a forum on Philippine-US relations organized by the Washington-based Asia Society in August last year that “[we] have to change laws, issue executive orders and frankly, introduce amendments to the Constitution.” The 1987 Constitution prohibits foreign entities from owning more than 60% of economic enterprises and from owning land.
“While Malacañang is sure to argue that chacha is not Aquino’s own initiative, his 2 years in office show that like Enrile and Belmonte, he is no less of a US lapdog than these politicians. Despite his refusal to admit it, his being a puppet of US imperialism is evident. The LFS vows to prevent this chacha from happening, and PNoy can expect us with the rest of the nation exposing his puppetry as he delivers his SONA on Monday,” Canalis warns. ###