Charter change: Wrong timing, priority, motives

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - January 16, 2021 - 12:00am

To be fair, this administration has done many good things for the country and the people support the president and the majority coalition. It has many mistakes but I find many positive things that happened under President Digong. Charter change, however, is the wrong move at the wrong time. And for the wrong purpose.

At a time when hundreds, if not thousands are still dying every month of COVID-19, it’s utterly irresponsible on the part of some politicians to initiate changing the fundamental law. It’s extremely insensitive, and utterly lacking in a sense of even a fundamental concern for the pressing needs of the people. To focus on charter change, instead of addressing the most compelling imperatives of the times is a palpable evidence of the trapos' lack of responsibility and genuine concern for the people. They don't even have a clear agenda to alleviate the sufferings of the masses in the midst of the health and economic crisis, now they are shamelessly going political by trying to repair a Constitution that isn’t broken.

For Congress at this critical time to propose charter change indicates that it’s out of touch with reality. I therefore challenge the seven representatives representing Cebu Province to declare their stand on this issue. Their silence would be an indubitable proof of conspiracy with the powers-that-be to save their own skins. It might be going too far if I say that many of them are merely pushing for these changes only to accommodate their clients, who want to open our economy to foreign investors and corporate predators. Investigative journalists should prove that many of the men and women in Congress owning or are members of law and/or accounting and consultancy outfits with foreign interests.

These so-called representatives shouldn’t close their eyes to the painful fact that millions of Filipinos have lost their jobs, and most of the working class are worried about survival. Jobless, homeless, and hopeless, more than a quarter of the total population of 110 million are trying to survive below the poverty line. They live in shanties. Their children scavenge for food from garbage cans and waste bins. They cannot afford medicines and rely heavily on dole-outs from government and relatives. Many of the relatives who work abroad have been sent home and about a million of our OFWs are here with no clear chance of being reinstated to their jobs abroad.

The congressmen are paid hundreds of millions for either doing nothing or exacerbating poverty, social injustice, and the pains inflicted by the harsh socio-economic conditions of a society controlled by greedy businessmen, corrupt politicians, and social institutions that don’t understand reality. Many senators and representatives have interests in business, industries, and institutions. They are there precisely to protect the interests of their clients and their class. Only a handful represent the people in the true sense of the word. And those who represent the masses are being red-tagged as communists. The trapos in Congress representing the elite are now going to tinker with the fundamental law to open our patrimony under the guise of inviting foreign investors.

We may end up with all our lands being owned by foreigners and we shall be like Jews and Palestinians, people without a peacefully defined territory. And so, Manong Digong, you may wish to reflect more deeply, and perhaps tell your men in Congress to stop charter change, and focus on vaccine, food security, corruption, and continue the war on drugs. Charter change is the wrong move, at the wrong time, being pushed for the most devilish of all motives. This can unmake all the good things you’ve done.


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