“Cha-Cha aiming to extend the term of Aquino and to disempower the Supreme Court poses an immediate threat while economic Cha-Cha poses long-term threats to the welfare of the nation.”
By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA – Political prisoners Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria Tiamzon warned against the Aquino administration’s attempt to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
In a correspondence with Bulatlat.com, Benito Tiamzon branded as “a poison to the nation” the proposals to revise the political and the economic provisions of the Philippine Constitution.
“Cha-Cha aiming to extend the term of Aquino and to disempower the Supreme Court poses an immediate threat while economic Cha-Cha poses long-term threats to the welfare of the nation,” Tiamzon said.
The Tiamzon couple, arrested in March and detained at Camp Crame, called on the Filipino people to oppose and frustrate the Aquino administration’s Charter change moves.
In a report by Interaksyon, President Benigno Aquino III said he is open to amending the Constitution. When asked about term extension, Aquino said he would have to listen to his boss – a term he uses to refer to the Filipino people.
Benito said Aquino’s political Charter Change would lead to the return of dictatorial rule and all the evils that come with it.
The couple fought the Marcos dictatorship until the overthrow of Marcos in 1987.
Wilma said Aquino’s political Cha-cha would further fuel the ongoing civil war raging in the countryside. The Tiamzon couple has been tagged by the military as the top leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA).
Wilma noted that Aquino’s pronouncement was followed by what she calls as the military’s systematic defense of retired Army Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. and counterinsurgency programs Oplan Bantay Laya and Oplan Bayanihan. “Both programs are characterized by a militarist, fascist and inhumane approach in suppressing the revolutionary struggle of the Filipino people,” she said.
Both deemed that the economic Cha-Cha is even more dangerous.
Wilma noted that even the political opposition is amenable to changing the economic provisions of the Constitution.
Benito said removing the provisions protecting the national patrimony would mean “self-inflicted helplessness” against foreign control and foreign plunder of the economy.
“The promise of development with the influx of foreign investments is plain illusion and deceit,” Benito said. “Without protection from foreign competition, the backward agrarian economy of the Philippines would further plunge into a deep crisis.”
Benito added that it is the workers, farmers and the poor who would bear the brunt of denationalization of the economy.
Benito said the Filipino people could not afford to entrust the country’s welfare and future to foreign banks and corporations, which, he said, are only after huge profits. He added the Filipino people could not also entrust the country’s welfare and future to the ruling elite, who, he said, is subservient to its foreign masters. “No other than the Filipino people themselves should protect and ensure the country’s welfare and future,” Benito said.