13 March 2024

Migrante International adopts the global petition against Charter Change entitled: MIGRANTS AND OVERSEAS FILIPINOS: SAY NO TO CHA CHA! The petition, delivered today to the offices of the Chair of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Hon. Rufus Rodriguez and the Office of the Speaker Martin Romualdez, was initially signed by more than 100 OFW and overseas Filipino organizations in 13 countries condemn the Charter Change being proposed by Marcos Jr, his cousin Speaker Martin Romualdez and their cohorts. As explained in the said petition on behalf of migrants and overseas Filipinos:

“Our hard-earned foreign remittances prop up the indentured economy from total collapse yet the vultures in Malacañang and Congress are blind and deaf from our demands for government protection, services and decent jobs. Instead, they are hell bent on ensuring that they will continue to rule even after the six years limit imposed by the 1987 Constitution. Listening to the orders of their foreign masters, and political patrons, they want to further open the gates of the nation to be plundered by foreign monopolies, big mining firms, commercial loggers, and allow our lands, mines and resources to be pillaged by foreigners. That is why they want to change the 1987 Constitution that protects our patrimony and that imposes limits to stop tyrants and plunderers from overstaying in power. This is the so-called Cha Cha or Charter Change being proposed by Marcos Jr and his cousin Speaker Romualdez to amend the 1987 Constitution.

They also want to have a Cha Cha to allow the banned US Military Bases from returning, and to erase the Constitutional ban against nuclear plants and nuclear weapons and war crafts of foreign imperialist powers like the United States and China.

Even if they claim that the Cha Cha will only be limited to “economic” changes, it will allow the evil of the unbridled access by foreign monopolies on our land, natural resources, forests, mines and let them put up foreign enterprises that will further plunge our economy to the quagmire of underdevelopment. These foreign monopoly capitalists, with unlimited power and money will grab our lands and trample on the demand of farmers for genuine land reform. They will siphon off what little capital is being used by small and medium scale Filipino businesses, and bankrupt what remains of our native entrepreneurs and local employers. The result is the closure of Filipino business and factories, suppression of workers’ rights including wages, the landlessness of the farmers, massive joblessness, hunger and extreme poverty for our people which lead to forced migration.”

The politicians want more power and more wealth. Wealth begets Power and they can more efficiently perpetuate themselves in power by removing all obstacles in the 1987 Constitution and the laws. Even with the existing Constitution which was crafted by the ruling elite, the likes of Marcos Jr, Duterte and Romualdez have devised ways of fraudulently staying in power against their political rivals, the losing faction of the ruling class. Even with the human rights restrictions written in the said Constitution, Rodrigo Duterte was able to declare Martial Law in

Mindanao before and go on a state sponsored killing spree allegedly as a war on drugs, despite the Constitutional ban on the death penalty.

Former presidents Gloria Arroyo and Joseph Estrada who were charged with non bailable plunder cases during their time, were able to escape life imprisonment by being given amnesty by succeeding presidents through political convenience and corruption. Thus, the existing Constitution is not really a blanket protection of the peoples’ demands for justice, clean governance and democracy from the manipulative hands of the all-powerful and all wealthy lords in Malacañang and Congress.

But this time the ruling clique of Marcos Jr, and Martin Romualdez and their cohorts cannot be satiated by their lust for more power and wealth, as they have tasted it again, after more than thirty years of waiting in the sidelight for their political rivals to make a misstep. They are so eager and impatient to ensure their monopoly of power over their political rivals, they want to get rid of all the hindrances in the Constitution while they now hold the precarious absolute numerical control in the executive and legislative branches. They want to use the Cha Cha to choke the traditional opposition, co-opt more “balimbings” in Congress and Senate, and to stifle popular dissent and constrict the remaining civil space.

This we shall not allow! Enough is enough!

We, migrants and overseas Filipinos around the globe will continue to protest and shout with one voice:


Photos: Office of House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Office of Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Chair of House Committee on Constitutional Amendments

Photos: Office of House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Office of Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Chair of House Committee on Constitutional Amendments