Thursday, September 22, 2005

NR0922:Cha cha commission waste of money, its work results already a foregone conclusion

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran
News Release September 22, 2005

Solons slams Charter Commission as waste of public funds: commission’s output already a foregone conclusion, but still Filipinos will not support Charter Change

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the Constitutional Commission Malacanang is forming, being constituted of mostly pro-administration individuals and representing pro-Charter change organizations, cannot be expected to be produce any objective input regarding the Filipino people’s genuine sentiments towards amending the Constitution.

“This is a rah-rah group for Malacanang and its cha cha agenda. What can we expect from it but to come up with a study that supposedly justifies the need to amend the charter? This commission is a waste of public funds,” he said. “Already millions have been spent on the government’s contract with the US-based Venable LLP and the cha cha lobby. Now here’s another drain, however small, on the government’s budget, and the results of the commission’s work is already a foregone conclusion. This commission should be dismantled even before it puts up office.”

“Malacanang and its allies in Congress should drop the charter change agenda because Filipinos are deadest against it. There are more urgent and crucial issues Filipinos are concerned with, such as overthrowing a corrupt and illegitimate presidency that has done nothing to stop the oil price hikes even as it imposes new regressive taxes on the poor. Charter change is the farthest thing from the people’s minds. Apart from this, the amendments Malacanang and its rah-rah boys and girls in Congress supporting cha cha are proposing are the contents of the wish list of foreign investors and creditors. We have not heard a single proposed amendment that will protect the national economy from the abuses of big business and their destructive greed for profit,” he said.

The veteran labor leader said that if there were any amendments to the Charter that should be made, it should be to strengthen its protectionist provisions and prohibit the ownership or even mere lease of foreign firms in vital industries and sectors such as electricity, oil, water, mining, agriculture, telecommunications, transportation, banking and finance. He said that these were the main areas of the economy that should be protected and their running and management should be nationalized.

“But these are also precisely what Malacanang wants to completely open to the plunder of foreign businesses. Charter change proponents are committing treason with their lobbying for the removal of all provisions protecting the country’s economic sovereignty and independence. They’re putting up the country and its resources including the country’s laborers up for sale at the cheapest, bargain prices,” he said.

He also said that small and locally-owned businesses will be driven bankrupt. “Cha cha proponents are also proposing 100% liberalization of retail trade businesses. Millions of small shops and cottage industries will be affected. The liberalization of ownership of land will also kill the country’s agriculture and worsen food insecurity as foreign companies will put up farms devoted to cash crops for export. Millions of farmers and their families will be driven from their lands under full-scale land conversion,” he said. #


Post a Comment

<< Home