August 12, 2008 – 5:18 p.m.
“Power, perpetuation in power, not peace in Mindanao is Mrs. Arroyo’s true agenda in the renewed bid to change the charter.”
This is how the party list representatives of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela deemed the renewed bid of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her allies in Congress to amend the Constitution.
In a joint statement, Bayan Muna Representatives Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño, Anakpawis Representative Rafael Mariano and Gabriela Women’s Representatives Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan, said, “Mrs. Arroyo’s callous bid to cling to power has taken a wicked twist. To set the stage for a charter change cum federalism, her government fanned the flames of Moro-Christian conflict and renewed armed hostilities in strife-torn Mindanao.”
They added, “While we support the Moro people’s struggle for self-determination, we will not allow their legitimate cause to be used as a means for Mrs. Arroyo to inflict far-reaching damage on the people and the country by staying in power…”
They also warned against removing the remaining protectionist provisions in the Constitution, specifically on national sovereignty, economy and patrimony, and human rights.
The legislators maintained that there is no such thing as a ‘surgical amendment’ on the issue of a shift to federalism. “Once a Constitutional Convention or Constituent Assembly is convened, the floodgates will be opened to introduce changes on any and all provisions of the Constitution,” they said.
They also branded Arroyo as a’ ‘pathological liar’ who intends to stay beyond 2010.
The legislators called on the people to intensify protests against Arroyo’s power extension agenda as the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments begins deliberations on various charter change measures this afternoon. (Bulatlat.com)