Move to change charter amid global pandemic is work of enemies of democracy, people – De Lima


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has maintained that the renewed push by allies of Mr. Duterte to amend the 1987 Constitution during a global pandemic is a deliberate move to tighten their grip to power.

In her message for the Movement Against the Anti-Terrorism Act’s (MATA) webinar on Charter Change last Aug. 14, De Lima said the move to change the Charter at a time when people cannot even do the most basic of actions “is the work of the enemies of democracy and, therefore, the enemies of the people.”

“To open our Constitution to change is to open all of that to change. It would not merely be ‘changing the rules of the game’ – though that by itself will have an immense and immediate impact on our daily lives,” she said.

“We can go to sleep one day as a free people, and wake up the next to find ourselves shackled for decades under a dictatorship. Or we can be a sovereign nation now, and be nothing but a puppet state: one that is independent in name alone, and not in practice,” she added.
As such, De Lima noted that to say that the call to amend the Charter during these challenging times is “untimely” or is a “mistake” is not only an understatement, but is to miss the whole point.

“We, the people, must see and speak the Truth for what it is: this is not a mistake or miscalculation of the appropriateness of timing – this is DELIBERATE,” said she.

De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, further called solons pushing for Charter Change amid COVID-19 pandemic as opportunists who only protect their self-interests.

“These people are not our leaders. They are opportunists. Mga bantay-salakay. Mga bwitre na – habang nagkakamatayan ang mga taumbayan para lamang itaguyod, hindi lamang ang kani-kanilang pamilya, kundi pati na ang ating bayan at ang ekonomiya – ay sasalakay upang hubaran sila ng Kalayaan, Pagkatao at Pagka-bayan,” she said.

“They answer to one call – and that is not the call of the Filipino people. They move only to protect their own interests: to gain more power, which they hope to never give up. And they will call “Master” anyone who promises them that – even if they are foreign powers, and even if the price is the subjugation of our own people,” she added.

De Lima, who called the present regime as corrupt and treasonous, stressed that the Duterte administration cannot be trusted to undertake the critical exercise of Charter change in a manner that will protect Filipino interests especially because it bows to China.

“Mga kababayang Pilipino, walang dudang pababayaan tayo ng gobyernong ito tulad ng pagpapabaya nito sa mga kapwa Pilipino nating mangingisda na minamaliit at kinukutya ng mga banyaga sa sarili nating bakuran,” she said.

“Iisa lamang ang kanilang adhikain: palawigin ang kapangyarihan na kanilang kinakapitan at pinagkakaperahan habang ang mga Pilipino ay literal na nagkakamatayan,” she added.

The lady Senator from Bicol said the Filipino public should not allow the present administration to sell the country and its people’s freedom by allowing opportunists leaders to amend the Constitution.

“We are not for sale! Our nation is not for sale! The future of Filipino children is not for sale! This is the Land of Filipinos, and will be so from here unto eternity! No to Charter change under this regime!”, she said.

De Lima’s message for MATA’s online public discussion on Charter Change was read by Ms. Jean Enriquez. The notable speakers in the webinar include Prof. Ed Garcia, Dean Chel Diokno and Gabby Cadampag. (30)

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