Drive to join US-initiated TPP is Aquino regime's motive for "chacha"--CPP

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
July 18, 2012

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the Aquino regime's drive to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is among the motives for current moves by its political stooges to push for amending the reactionary 1987 Philippine constitution.

"Prodded by the US, Aquino's economic officials have been actively engaged in negotiations with the US Trade Department to join the TPP," said the CPP. "Joining the TPP has been among the priorities of the US-Aquino regime, consistent with its thrust to pursue the discredited neoliberal policies of the past three decades and push to surrender the nation's economic sovereignty."

"The TPP involves the creation of a no-tariff economic zone to expand the market for US-made goods and counteract the trade and economic agreements being forged by countries outside the influence of the US," pointed out the CPP. "The US has initiated the TPP in an effort to revive the US economy which has been in recession for around five years now."

In February, US Trade Representative Demetrios J. Marantis declared "we want to regain our place as the Philippines’ number one trading partner" as he pushed the Philippine government to put into place more liberal policy changes. Among others, the US has been pushing for the removal of standards in imported meat and vegetable products which it regarded as "trade irritants."

In August last year, US Ambassador Harry Thomas outrightly declared that the Philippines must amend its constitution in order for it to join the TPP. The US government wants the Philippines to remove provisions in the 1987 constitution which protect national sovereignty and the national patrimony, and prohibit foreign entities from owning more than 60% of economic enterprises and from owning land.

"The Aquino regime and the entire reactionary puppet ruling political system intend to carry out the instructions of their imperialist master to open up the Philippine economy and break down all barriers in order to give American big capitalist free rein in taking advantage of cheap raw materials and labor power and  in dumping US surplus commodities," said the CPP.

"The current 'cha-cha' or charter-change campaign is being led by Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile who has been serving as the US-assigned baton wielder of the reactionary class," said the CPP. "Benigno Aquino III has been told by US spinmeisters to act disinterested, even unconvinced, of the need for 'cha-cha,' fully aware of the Filipino people's deep-going opposition to it as a scheme of politicos for extending their hold on political power."

"On the ground however, Aquino's key lieutenants are among the most active in pushing for 'cha-cha' and are building a congressional consensus in order to 'convince' Aquino and carry out the amendment of the 1987 constitution in the most rapid and painless possible manner," said the CPP.

"Enrile and the rest of the pro-imperialist politicos are trying to portray 'cha-cha' as apolitical and centered only on economic policies, while asserting the neoliberal notion that 'economic protection' is a thing of the past, to justify proposals for 'cha-cha'," said the CPP.

"Over the past two and a half decades, the 1987 Philippine constitution has neither succeeded in protecting Philippine national patrimony nor prevented foreign big capitalists from plundering Philippine natural resources, carry out the massive destruction of local productive forces and reduce the Philippines to a ravaged piece of economic desert," pointed out the CPP. "In pushing for 'cha-cha' to join the US-controlled TPP economic alliance, the puppet reactionaries will only lead the Philippines to unprecedented economic ruin."