By MARIANNE LORENZO
GMA could have won in many dancing competitions. After all, she is fond of dancing and re-hashing the Cha-cha. Many times, she danced to the beat of Cha-cha and even composed a Consultative Commission on Charter Change years back. Now as she faces the last year of her term, she is again practicing her favorite dance. Her best partner now, is House Speaker Prospero Nograles who authored Resolution 737.
The resolution, authored by House Speaker Prospero Nogales, proposes amendments to Sections 2 and 3 in Article XII of the Constitution “to allow the acquisition by foreign corporations and associations and the transfer of conveyance thereto of alienable public lands and private lands.”
Many Filipinos cannot even own land. Farmers remain landless; the urban poor are treated as squatters. With Charter Change, the Philippine soil would largely be owned by foreign corporations that have historically exploited our natural resources. In the name of investment and globalization, the government now is surrendering our lands to greedy capitalists aimed at exploiting this precious resource for super profits and not nurturing the land.
The next steps for the Cha-cha dance are well rehearsed. According to the Chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments: “The other resolutions on Charter change has not yet been included in the agenda of our hearings. The Nograles resolution is what we are willing to discuss”. Well, after the Nograles resolution, other resolutions would follow. Although these resolutions were not presented to the public yet. Let us review the recommendation of the consultative commission, which I believe remains to be the platform for Charter Change.
Due to the limited space let me pick some major provisions from the 1987 Constitution that will be deleted as recommended by the Consultative Commission:
• The Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.
• The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all.
• The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.
• The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.
• The State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.
• The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos.
• The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.
• The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.
• Congress shall…reserve to citizens of the Philippines and corporations or associations at least 60% of whose capital is owned by such citizens…certain areas of investments.”
• In the grant of rights and privileges and concessions…the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos”
The deletions are outrageous. These are important provisions that entail major economic and political policies. Why will the government delete these provisions?
The answer is again imperialist globalization. Giving full authority to superpowers to effectively control our economy, giving authority to make the Philippines a place for severe foreign exploitation including the entry of nuclear weapons, transferring government responsibility for basic social services to profit-driven corporations and surrendering the Filipino people’s lands and resources. GMA’s Cha-cha is a total sellout of our national patrimony and sovereignty.
More so, Cha-cha in the last years of GMA means term extension. When you open the constitution which stands as the basic law of the land, anything is possible. One possibility is for GMA to push for the parliamentary form of government which needs a transition parliament, with her as the head of the state and the government. After which, we would have a solid GMA block bound to perpetually control the Philippines the way she wants it.
Tsk, tsk, tsk, this dance should not have been called Cha-cha for Cha-cha is intended to express love and fondness. Well, GMA does love the imperialists and she loves to stay in power. #