Our Stand is Clear, No to Charter Change

‘Woe to those who enact evil statutes and to those who constantly record unjust decisions, So as to deprive the needy of justice And rob the poor of My people of their rights, So that widows may be their spoil And that they may plunder the orphans. Now what will you do in the day of punishment, And in the devastation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your wealth? (Isaiah 10:1-3)’

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines reiterates its stand against the revision of the 1987 Constitution through a Constitutional Convention or Concon. There are more pressing concerns that are country is facing including the economic crisis and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NCCP remains resolute on its stand that the 1987 Constitution is far from perfect. However, the strength of the 1987 Constitution is the protection it offers to our sovereignty over our national patrimony and its economic and natural resources from uncontrolled exploitation by foreign and international business. It is these very protections that some in government and the business community want amended within the Constitution.

The poverty of our people will worsen if we allow constitutional changes that result in an abandonment of our national patrimony. We must not let the plunder of our resources of our people and our future generations by foreign investors and corporations, with little gain for our country and the masses of our poor people.

Furthermore, charter change will only increase the wealth of those who are already rich and deeply engaged with foreign financial investors.

We have seen how import liberalization including that of the Rice Tariffication Law  has impacted on the prices of various agricultural products, making their costs prohibitive. Taking the remaining protections in our Constitution will mean more of the same problems.

It is also unconscionable that billions of pesos will be spent on Con-con in the midst of increasing inflation and joblessness.

This tinkering with the 1987 Constitution may open it up to more changes that may undermine the Bill of Rights, and other checks and balances that are our guarantees for a truly democratic society. Lawmakers with self-serving interests may also tamper with the restrictions on term extensions. This comes at a time when we have a President whose father tinkered with the Constitution to perpetuate himself in power for more than 20 years.

The NCCP calls on the people to continue rejecting moves to tamper with the 1987 Constitution. It is not needed at this time and certainly not for the wrong reasons.

Signed:

08 March 2023

REV. FELIPE B. EHICAN, JR.
Chairperson

RT. REV. JOEL O. PORLARES
Vice Chairperson

DR. GAY B. MANODON
Vice Chairperson

MA. KAY CATHRINE F. ALMARIO
Vice Chairperson

MS. MINNIE ANNE M. CALUB
Acting General Secretary