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Fil-Ams applaud SC decision to scrap Charter Change; warn House to forgo Constituent Assembly for appeal

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Reference: Rachel Redondiez, Secretary-General, BAYAN USA, email: sec-gen @

Filipino-Americans across the United States applauded the recent Philippine Supreme Court ruling to dismiss an Arroyo-administered “People’s Initiative” petition drive pushing for proposed revisions to the 1987 Constitution.

In a landmark decision earlier this week, the Supreme Court voted 8-7 against consolidated petitions filed by Sigaw Ng Bayan and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), stating it “cannot betray its primordial duty to defend and protect the Constitution.”

“The legislative and executive branches of the Philippine government should take note and learn from the statements of their colleagues in the Supreme Court. We are very happy with the high court’s ruling because it is motivated by the national sovereign interests of the Filipino people, the love of democracy, and an adherence to the Philippine constitution, contrary to this so-called People’s Initiative and Arroyo’s Charter Change,” stated BAYAN USA Vice-Chair Chito Quijano.

Quijano further stated the SC decision as a victory for the large outpouring of street mobilizations and international people’s momentum to largely expose the People’s Initiative as a fraud.

BAYAN USA, a US-based chapter of the umbrella organization in the Philippines, denounced the petition drive as an “Arroyo maneuver to circumvent and alter the Philippine Consitution in order to pave the way for intensified foreign economic, political, and military intervention on Philippine soil.”

“As Filipinos in the US, we understand that the proponents of the People’s Initiative are not, in fact, the Filipino people themselves. It is the US government and multi-national corporate initiative that Arroyo’s Charter Change is pushing for,” Quijano added.

Among the proposed changes is a significant overhaul of the of the two-chamber legislature into a unicameral parliament, wherein a prime minister, instead of the president, would head the government.

Staunch opponents have argued the systemic overhauls advance Malacanang’s desire to consolidate its failing grip on power in lieu of an exceeding political crisis.

Quijano further warned against a gathering from Congress for a constituent assembly to continue on with its lobby for Charter Change.

“The House should respect the Supreme Court’s decision as final, and cease from carrying this problematic and failed agenda any further,” he ended.