We say, no to Charter Change!

UNITY STATEMENT
NATIONAL CONSULTATION OF REGIONAL ECUMENICAL COUNCILS*

August 9-10, 2018
Bp. La Verne D. Mercado Ecumenical Center
National Council of Churches in the Philippines
879 EDA West Triangle, Quezon City

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31:8-9

We, the representatives of the thirteen (13) Regional Ecumenical Councils (REC’s)* from all over the country, are gravely alarmed by the Duterte government’s move to change the 1987 Philippine Constitution for federalism. Certainly, there is no popular clamor for it; recent surveys show that there is an increasing number of Filipinos opposed to charter change.

We are deeply concerned that the proponents of the charter change have a misconstrued understanding of development that will benefit only a select few. It seeks to allow foreign businesses to own larger shares of various ventures that were safeguarded by our present Charter. It can also expand and strengthen the power of political dynasties and constrict the democratic space in our society further. This move to shift the form of government will push our people further into the margins as more taxes will be imposed on the people to support new structures and officials.

While the 1987 Constitution is far from perfect, moves to change the Constitution that will undermine our national sovereignty, the Bill of Rights, and other checks and balances for a truly democratic society will surely be for the worse. As Christians who uphold human dignity, we are against any move from the authorities that compromises the image of God in all of us. We, thus say, NO to charter change!###

BISHOP JERRY LULS SAGUN
Cagayan Valley Regional Ecumenical Assembly (CAVREA)

REV. ROCINI BAKIAN
Regional Ecumenical Council in the Cordillera (RECCORD)

FR. ALLAN CAPARRO
Eastern Visayas Regional Ecumenical Council (EVREC)

REV. ANTONIETTA B. CABRAL
Palawan Ecumenical Council (PAEC)

ELIZA GUERRERO
Regional Ecumenical Council in Cordillera (RECCORD)

PASTOR ABEGAIL MELODY OBSEQUIAS
Bicol Regional Ecumenical Council (BREC)

REV. JULIET R. EGAR
Southern Tagalog Regional Affairs Movement (STREAM)

BRO. LITO LATORRE
Southern Tagalog Regional Affairs Movement (STREAM)

MS. AMY BARRAMEDA
Southern Tagalog Regional Affairs Movement (STREAM)

REV. GILBERT G. GARCIA
Pangasinan & Central Luzon Ecumenical Assembly (PACLEA)

MS. MELBA S. ALTURA
Pangasinan & Central Luzon Ecumenical Assembly (PACLEA)

MS. AURORA GABRIEL
Romblon Mindoro Ecumenical Council (ROMINEC)

REV. HERMINIHILDO ALLERA
Romblon Mindoro Ecumenical Council (ROMINEC)

MS. GLADDYS JANE DADO
Romblon Mindoro Ecumenical Council (ROMINEC)

REV. DAN SAN ANDRES
Bicol Regional Ecumenical Council (BREC)

REV. ELY ESPANOLA
Cotabato Regional Ecumenical Council (COREC)

MS. ROSIE CONCHA
Cagayan Valley Regional Ecumenical Assembly (CAVREA)

MS. DEMSEN PROLET AGPAOA
Cagayan Valley Regional Ecumenical Assembly (CAVREA)

PROF. DR. ROMMEL F. LINATOC
NCCP-CUER

REV. IRMA M. BALABA
NCCP-CUER

MS. HANNAH GRACE SANTILLAN
NCCP-CUER

*“RECs” are ecumenical fellowships of churches of different denominations in the provinces and regions committed to following Jesus Christ by working together for common prophetic witness and service in responding to the people’s issues specifically justice and peace, human dignity and rights, and the integrity of creation.