Pull all stops to block US-designed "chacha" drive this year

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines

January 12, 2013

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today called on all patriotic and democratic sectors to exert all efforts to block the US-designed drive to push for neoliberal and antipeople amendments to the 1987 Philippine constitution.

The CPP call came amid pronouncements by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte that charter change (chacha) will be among the priorities of the reactionary Philippine Congress when it convenes its 16th session after the May 2013 elections. At the same time, the CPP also denounced the pro-"chacha" campaign launched a few days ago by the so-called Centrist Democratic Party calling for the removal of what it claims are "restrictive economic provisions."

"The Filipino people and their patriotic, democratic and progressive forces should aggressively counter the US-designed chacha campaign," said the CPP. "At the same time, they must fight for a reversal of the neoliberal policies of the past 30 years and assert their aspirations for a progressive and sovereign economy."

"They should build a broad anti-chacha alliance of patriotic and progressive-minded students, nationalist economists and academics, professionals, small and medium-scale businessmen in order to effectively oppose and frustrate the efforts of the US imperialists and its puppets in the Aquino regime to push the neoliberal agenda to amend the 1987 constitution," said the CPP. "They can invoke the nationalist spirit of Andres Bonifacio whose sesquicentennial birth anniversary is being celebrated this year in order to unite the Filipino people against the chacha."

"They must expose how the neoliberal policies of liberalization, privatization, deregulation and denationalization were imposed by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank since the 1980s in successive 'structural adjustment programs' undertaken by the reactionary governments in exchange for foreign funding," added the CPP.

"Over the past 30 years, such neoliberal policies have resulted in the grave oppression and exploitation of the Filipino people, the depression of wages, all-out attacks against workers' rights, massive landgrabbing by foreign mining companies and big plantations, intolerable rates of unemployment, spiralling prices of commodities and the deterioration of education, health, housing and other social services," added the CPP.

"These neoliberal policies have resulted in the massive destruction of local productive forces and the surrender of Philippine economic sovereignty and have drawn the Philippines deeper into the semicolonial and semifeudal economic rut."