PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS BEFORE CHARTER CHANGE -MAZA

Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Liza Maza today called on Congress to stop yielding to Malacanang’s call for Charter Change. “Let us not allow Congress to become the wielder of the wedge that will divide our people further. This is the last thing our country needs.”

Following the turmoil in Mindanao that came in the heels of the lack of consultation in the GRP-MILF MOA-AD, Maza reminded colleagues of the dangers of deciding on whether or not to embark on moves to amend the Constitution despite an utter lack of consultation. “This government is developing an addiction to arbitrariness and autocracy.”

The Committee on Constitutional Amendments is set to vote today on whether there is a need to amend the Constitution.

According to Maza, “Several attempts at Charter Change have been repeatedly rejected by the people. This has been reflected not just in surveys but in massive protest actions. Deciding on whether or not dance the ChaCha should be done after nationwide consultations. Let us all be reminded that we are supposed to be a democracy.”

The Gabriela solon also warned that there will be no stopping moves to amend provisions on term extensions, the presence of foreign military bases and nuclear weapons should Congress allow Charter Change. Maza noted that Article XVII Section 1 of the Constitution states that both the Constituent Assembly and the Constitutional Convention may amend and/or revise the Constitution. Revisions as defined could entail the rewriting of the entire Charter.

“There is no such thing as a surgical amendment. Putting the Constitution under the surgical knife is no different from putting it in a blender.” #

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