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Fil-Ams say regime change, not charter change, is a cause worth fighting for

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Reference: Rachel Redondiez, Secretary-General, BAYAN USA, email:

On the occasion of the traditionally-recognized Philippine Independence Day, Filipinos in the US slammed Malacanang’s intensified maneuvers towards so-called Charter Change [Cha-Cha] to the Philippine constitution as “a shameless act of US subservience to the degree of the era of direct colonial rule in the Philippines.”

“Nominal independence is but a 60-year old lie concocted by those inside Malacanang walls. But perhaps more so than all those who came before her, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo takes home the prize in her all-out efforts to crush the sovereign will of the Filipino people, including orchestrating the rise in political killings, much to the direct interest of US foreign policy and multinational corporations,” stated BAYAN USA secretary-general Rachel Redondiez.

Redondiez pointed the importance of generating overseas condemnation of Arroyo’s “Cha-Cha Express” even from the belly of the world’s number one superpower.

“Oceans will not prevent Filipinos in the US from feeling the impact of the Cha-Cha provisions, including the official re-establishment of the US bases, the sell-out of Philippine soil, assets and national resources, the prolongation of the Arroyo regime’s fascist dictatorship, and the erosion of basic democratic practices, like people’s elections,” Redondiez explained.

BAYAN USA, a chapter of the national alliance in the Philippines, crowned the troubled Arroyo administration as a “traitor regime” that knows no bounds in its anti-patriotic endeavors, as exemplified by those whose interests the Cha-Cha truly serves.

“As Filipinos econmically forced to migrate to the US, we see how the historically unequal relations between the US government and the Philippines has played out serve the interests of big business in the United States,” Redondiez added.

Integral to Arroyo’s Cha-Cha would be increased economic liberalization of the country’s resources, in line with the dictates of US-led agencies such as as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Redondiez equates such moves to the prevention of economic progress for the Philippines and the deepened impoverishment of the Filipino people.

“Arroyo is also manuevering her way through the Cha-Cha to cling on to what little illegitmate power she has amidst a popular movement for ouster,” Redondiez added.

BAYAN USA appealed to all Filipinos in the US to harness their social and economic power to oppose charter change and demand regime change instead. In 2005, remittances from Filipinos in the US totaled to $6 billion, the highest from any other country abroad.

“Unlike Arroyo, the Filipino people, even those of us here in the US, have not abandoned the struggle for genuine national independence. Defying Cha-Cha, hand-in-hand with broadening the movement to oust Arroyo in favor of a transition council, are patriotic causes worth fighting for,” Redondiez ended.

A national protest against Cha-Cha led by BAYAN marked June 12th in Manila.