MANILA, Philippines — Members of Anakpawis party-list, together with various progressive peasant mass organizations under the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and Amihan, on Monday trooped to the House of Representatives and held a protest action against the bid to change the 1987 Constitution.
In particular, Congress wants to ease foreign ownership of strategic utilities and ownership of land, said former Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao.
Casilao said, last year, the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, in an executive session, approved a bill to sought amendments to the Constitution.
Included in the draft proposal were various bills allowing 100% foreign ownership of land which is practically sell-out of national patrimony and term extension of local and national elected officials.
“While the people of Batangas and nearby provinces in Southern Tagalog continue to suffer due to the Taal Volcano eruption, Congress even have the gall to tackle Cha-Cha and term extension which are brazenly a self-serving proposals. Anakpawis denounces such insensitive move of Congress. Instead of exerting comprehensive efforts on how to overcome the effects of Taal eruption that affected almost 500, 000 individuals, and already damaged Php3-billion worth of crops and livestock,” said Casilao.
He also said that the people should be enraged especially now that people mostly in rural areas has yet to recover from the wrath of typhoons Tisoy, Ursula, and now the eruption of Taal Volcano.
“Helping the calamity-stricken communities should be the top priority of the government, including Congress. Congress must pass Makabayan Bloc’s proposal of permanent evacuation under House Bill No. 5259 and not legislate anti-people measure like charter change” Casilao said.
“We should frustrate this insidious plan of Congress to further bastardize the Constitution. The key is the people’s movement against Charter Change which frustrated previous House leaderships and now we should revive that to counter the creeping hands of Congress to ‘treacherously’ amend the Constitution,” he said.
If Congress prevails, privatization will be in full throttle and the liberalization of agriculture will be the final nail on the coffin to the total demise of our local agriculture sector, Casilao also said. (STACY ANG/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)