Press Release
August 14, 2020


Today, the Movement Against the Anti-Terrorism Act (MATA) is hosting a webinar to tackle the calls for Charter change amid the COVID-19 pandemic. I laud and thank MATA for creating a forum for conversation on this critical national issue.

To call the act of amending the Constitution "far-reaching" is an understatement. The Constitution is more than just a law that governs the relationship of people belonging to a society. It is more than a grant of powers from the people to the government. It is all that and more. It is the DNA sequence of our nation.

It defines who we are now, as a result of our political, cultural, social and economic history, a complex one.

It defines who we aspire to be, and what kind of nation we hope to pass on to our children.

It defines the paths that we agree to take in order to get from one to the other and the rules that govern the relationships among us, the Filipino people; between us and our government; between us and other nations; and our standing in this race called "humanity".

To open our Constitution to change is to open all of that to change. It would not merely be "changing the rules of the game" - though that by itself will have an immense and immediate impact on our daily lives. We can go to sleep one day as a free people, and wake up the next to find ourselves shackled for decades under a dictatorship. Or we can be a sovereign nation now, and be nothing but a puppet state: one that is independent in name alone, and not in practice.

To say, therefore, that the call to amend the Charter at this time, while a pandemic rages, is "untimely" or is a "mistake" is not only an understatement, but is to miss the whole point.

We, the people, must see and speak the Truth for what it is: this is not a mistake or miscalculation of the appropriateness of timing - this is DELIBERATE.

To move to change the Charter at a time when people cannot even do the most basic of actions - like go to work, go to school, go to church, even simply to go hug and kiss their loved ones without fear of spreading a virus - is the work of the enemies of democracy and, therefore, the enemies of the people.

These people are not our leaders. They are opportunists. Mga bantay-salakay. Mga bwitre na - habang nagkakamatayan ang mga taumbayan para lamang itaguyod, hindi lamang ang kani-kanilang pamilya, kundi pati na ang ating bayan at ang ekonomiya - ay sasalakay upang hubaran sila ng Kalayaan, Pagkatao at Pagka-bayan.

They answer to one call - and that is not the call of the Filipino people.

They move only to protect their own interests: to gain more power, which they hope to never give up. And they will call "Master" anyone who promises them that - even if they are foreign powers, and even if the price is the subjugation of our own people.

Kaya wag pong magkakamali ang taumbayan: ang ating Kalayaan, Pagkatao at Pagka-bayan ay nasa bingit ng kamatayan, hindi lamang dahil sa COVID-19, kundi dahil sa mga mananamantalang "pinuno" at ang kanilang mga banyagang amo.

This corrupt and treasonous government that bows to China does not know the meaning of transparency and accountability. This corrupt and treasonous regime cannot be trusted to undertake the critical exercise of Charter change in a manner that will protect Filipino interests.

Mga kababayang Pilipino, walang dudang pababayaan tayo ng gobyernong ito tulad ng pagpapabaya nito sa mga kapwa Pilipino nating mangingisda na minamaliit at kinukutya ng mga banyaga sa sarili nating bakuran.

Iisa lamang ang kanilang adhikain: palawigin ang kapangyarihan na kanilang kinakapitan at pinagkakaperahan habang ang mga Pilipino ay literal na nagkakamatayan.

Our Constitution is our nation's beating heart. This regime will trample on it, as it curses at us and laughs at our powerlessness.

Pero hindi tayo papayag dahil hindi tayo mangmang. Hindi natin hahayaang ipagbili ng rehimeng ito sa dayuhan ang ating Kalayaan, Pagkatao at Pagka-bayan.

We are not for sale! Our nation is not for sale! The future of Filipino children is not for sale! This is the Land of Filipinos, and will be so from here unto eternity!

No to Charter change under this regime!


PNP Custodial Center, Camp Crame

14 August 2020

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