Labor group: workers have nothing to gain from ChaCha that is made for and by oligarchs
Workers’ political center, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) denounced the recent proposals for constitutional amendment, led by House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco through the bill filled “Resolution of Both Houses No. 2” (RBH No. 2), as a move done by ruling elites to redistribute wealth among themselves and consolidate their power.
As the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments is set to reopen hearings today to consider changes to the current constitution’s economic provisions, BMP pointed out that workers and other basic sectors wont benefit from a such changes which have excluded them from their inception.
“These efforts to remove the foreign ownership restrictions in our constitution only seek to further the control of the economy by capitalists, beholden only to their global ties and interest. Local elites with their foreign partners have all to profit from opening the country up in the name of competitiveness and economic growth as we have seen time and again from the past decades.” said BMP President Luke Espiritu.
“Velasco and others are completely wrong in saying that allowing more foreign capital into the country will help it recover from the pandemic. On the contrary, we have learned from the recession that liberalization and globalization of economies only places working people in more precarious conditions wherein they either end up starving without work or earn only a meagre living day-to-day while capitalists of whatever nation, continue to enrich themselves.”
The group also condemned the ChaCha initiatives as exclusionary and opportunistic of politicians. “By pushing for ChaCha, amidst all the crises we have presently, lawmakers have shown their true priority— themselves and their business clients. This is a diversion attempt by them to distract us from the recession, the pandemic and the looming climate crisis and they know that they can only accomplish their true priorities through modifying the constitution so long as the situation is deteriorating and no one can oppose them,” said BMP Chairperson Leody De Guzman.
De Guzman also identified the recent events as yet another move by politicians to entrench themselves in their positions. “Once a Constituent Assembly is formed from the current body of trapos, who is to say that they won’t use the opportunity to also push for term extensions and renewal of their term limits? History has shown that these people only care about are their own pockets and power and now they are taking advantage of this time when the masses are overburdened.”
Moreover, BMP highlighted the control President Rodrigo Duterte in congress and the senate and his desires to use ChaCha for his own authoritarian agenda. “We know that both houses are in the service of Duterte and we know that he will use the legislature to further repress democracy across the country,” said Espiritu. “He has already stated that he wants congress to use ChaCha to institute federalism and even to overhaul the party-list system which he said was being used by progressive groups to aid communist insurgencies. This laughable considering that almost all party-lists are controlled by trapos and yet also unsurprising as the president will do anything to remove all opposition to his and cronies long-term plan of strengthening their grip on power.”
BMP emphasized that any genuine change from the current situation can only come from the vast majority of working-class Filipinos as Espiritu stated, “Workers and all democratic forces in the country must see that this ChaCha, like others before it, are made for and by oligarchs and must unite against such initiatives by them to diminish the rights, freedom and power of working people.” #
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
January 13, 2021