Militant groups to perform exorcism rite vs. Chacha
The anti- Charter Change groups led by the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and the activist peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) tomorrow will lead an exorcism rite by the gate of the House of Representatives to exorcise lawmakers loyal to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and who are obsessed with revising the 1987 Constitution in the name of transnational interest and term extension of the President and her allies in Congress.
The activity dubbed as “The Exorcism of the House of Arroyos” will be joined by Amihan, a national federation of peasant women, the agricultural workers group Unyon ng Mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and the Southern Tagalog based Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK).
“This is in response to House Resolution No, 1109 and House Resolution No.737 which refuse to die despite the public’s outrage and call for its withdrawal. The House of Arroyos is inviting the Filipino people to major political showdown, and this exorcism rite against Chacha will signal that social volcano against moves to further cannibalize the reactionary charter,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.
According to Hicap, some 100 farmers and fisherfolk will lead the “ritual tomorrow” against Chacha at the gate of Batasan Complex. Before noon, forces identified with the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), a staunch ally of KMP and Pamalakaya will join the protest against HR 737, a resolution authored by House Speaker Prospero Nograles seeking to revise the economic provisions of the Constitution to allow 100 foreign ownership of land.
HR 1109 authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte seeks to convene both Houses of Congress into a constituent assembly to effect Chacha. But Villafuerte was reportedly withdrawing his sponsorship of the resolution because there is no more enough time to proceed with the merger of both houses.
KMP spokesperson Antonio Flores said the Speaker of the House should stop dreaming of having his House Resolution 737 passed by three-fourths of Congress or else he would see his anti-Chacha groups and personalities in his nightmares.
Nograles is not giving up HR Resolution No. 737, which seeks to lift constitutional restrictions on foreign businessmen investing in the country. One of the main features of his Chacha resolution is the granting of 100 percent foreign ownership of land to foreign investors, which is currently prohibited under the 1987 Constitution.
“Nograles’ Chacha is the ultimate sell out of our national patrimony. His economic advocacy is comparable if not worse than the Treaty of Paris signed by the United States and Spain on December 10, 1898 where Spain ceded the control of the Philippines to the United States as the country’s new colonial master. What kind of advocacy is that Mr. Speaker? This is a throwback to era of colonialization,” Flores added.
Pamalakaya theorized that Nograles resolution is being pushed to legitimize the plan of the Department of Agriculture to allow foreign investors to purchase agricultural lands all over the country. Based on the agriculture department’s blue print, a total of 1.5 million hectares of lands are earmarked for agro-corporations who want to start export-oriented businesses in the country.
“Nograles wants to please the agro-corporate clients of Malacañang. Once HR 737 is endorsed and approved, the issue of term extension will be incorporated as an integral part of changing the economic provisions of the constitution because only the incumbents can fast-track the process and details of Chacha at the earliest possible time,” said Pamalakaya.
“That could be the game plan of Malacañang in HR 737 because HR 1109 is not acceptable to the public since it is an obvious scheme to perpetuate President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to power,” the group added.
Nograles said the debate on HR 737 will start next week before the session adjourns on June 3. He said he would wait for Rep. Villafuerte’s speech formally withdrawing the Bicol congressman’s sponsorship of HR 1109.
Meanwhile, Kasama-TK spokesperson Imelda Lacandazo, one of the organizers of the 54-day Rural Camp Out for Genuine Land Reform and Against Chacha challenged President Arroyo, the Senate and the House of Representatives to certify HB 3059 or GARB as an urgent bill if the administration is really sincere in implementing a thoroughgoing land reform in the country.
Declaring the 20-year old CARP as dead, KMP, Pamalakaya and Kasama-TK together with peasant groups from BTL (Buffalo-Tamarraw-Limus) in Bukidnon province cremated CARP to signify that the present land reform program is dead and the country needs a new legislated agrarian reform program through GARB.
While the first committee hearing of GARB is set on May 20, it is about time for the Philippine Congress to give full consideration on the proposed law without the resurrection of a dead law. There is no more room for debate if CARP is extended or not, instead the government should pass a new land reform law which is genuine and pro-farmer and GARB is providing every assurance that is indeed an agrarian reform that arises from the legitimate demands of the landless peasants all over the country,” Kasama-TK said. #