Different Ilonggo Groups, Personalities Gather to Form a Coalition Vs Charter Change

Different Ilonggo Groups, Personalities Gather to Form a Coalition Vs Charter Change

ILOILO CITY – Different Ilonggo groups and personalities gathered in Iloilo City last February 20 to launch the No To Charter Change Coalition – Panay. Former Bayan Muna Partylist Representative and Human Rights Lawyer, Atty. Neri Colmenares and Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of the Diocese of San Carlos were present during said launching and led the discussion on Charter Change.

Atty. Colmenares discussed the legalities and implications of the Charter Change currently being proposed by the Marcos administration. He said that based on the previous bills proposed such as the RBH 1, RBH 2, PDP Laban Amendments, House RBH 6, RBH 15, Senate RBH 5, and so on, the administration targets to change four things from the Constitution. First, they want to extend the term limits for the elected officials; Second, they want to omit the protectionist economics in the Constitution by opening the lands and economy to foreigners and allowing them to have 100% ownership of basic services like water, electricity, education, and so on; Third, they want to establish a Unicameral Legislature; and fourth, they want to delete other provisions that protect the Filipino people and its environment. Colmenares added that Charter Change will not address the economic crisis in the country.

Meanwhile, Bishop Alminaza focused his discussion on the country’s major issues, especially poverty. According to Alminaza, the crisis is created by political injustice and the country’s wealth being controlled by only a few individuals. He pointed out that the government is only prioritizing the enrichment of the officials instead of solving the major issues of the country.

To Atty. Colmenares, economic development will only be achieved if the government will focus on passing genuine pro-people laws such as genuine agrarian reform, genuine anti-corruption drive, junk contractualization, increase the budget for agriculture and social services, and declare national industrialization as the cornerstone of economic policy. Meanwhile, Bishop Alminaza pointed out that poverty must be addressed to achieve genuine and lasting peace.

The No To Charter Change Coalition – Panay is composed of members from prominent opposition groups, progressive organizations, and individuals from the academe and church./PT


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