Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Liza Largoza Maza today pushed for nationwide, transparent, public hearings on Charter Change, arguing that the conduct of simultaneous district-level consultations being proposed by the allies of the administration is prone to political manipulation.
“We want nothing less than the conduct of truthful, thorough, transparent public consultations on the issue of charter change.”
“More importantly, Malacanang’s agenda needs to be revealed in the conduct of these consultations. President Arroyo’s Charter Change wish list should be disclosed, from the proposed changes on provisions on term extensions to the changes in foreign ownership, military bases and foreign military presence among several others.”
The House of Representatives Committee on Constitutional Amendments is set to tackle today the conduct of public hearings and consultations on the proposed changes in the Constitution.
Amendments being proposed in Congress by allies of President Arroyo include allowing foreign corporations and associations to acquire 100% ownership of lands. Speaker Prospero Nograles has filed House Resolution 737. “This proposal which smacks of a sell-out of our patrimony should also be subject to a public consultation.”
“We have to allow people to make informed choices. There has to be a widespread information dissemination campaign on the consequences of Charter Change, the provisions that will be open to alteration, as well as the proposed changes to these provisions.”