Anti cha-cha rants louder

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Thousands of anti-Charter change protesters staged rallies nationwide Friday amid moves by Malacanang and its allied congressmen to amend the Constitution.

Militants from Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Northern Mindanao jogged around the city early Friday morning chanting anti Cha-cha protests and carrying placards.

Arroyo Watch: Sun.Star blog on President Arroyo

In Makati, thousands of protesters converged along Paseo de Roxas for an inter-faith rally against Charter change.

The Catholic Church and religious leaders from other faiths said President Gloria Arroyo wants to change the constitution to remain in power.

Former President Joseph Estrada briefly showed up but left after a while to attend to his mother who is in poor health condition, the GMAnews.TV reported.

“Ang ating mga kababayan nagkakaisa isang tinig dito labanan, tutulan, ibasura, patayin itong Gloria forever Cha-cha na ito (Our countrymen are one in saying that we should fight, reject and kill this Gloria forever Cha-cha),” said Senator Mar Roxas in an interview over radio dzBB.

Twenty three senators signed a resolution Thursday declaring unconstitutional any attempt to amend the 1987 constitution unilaterally or without approval of three-fourths of the Senate.

“Any attempt by the House of Representatives to unilaterally propose amendment to or revision of the constitution without the approval of three-fourths of the Senate voting separately is unconstitutional,” the resolution said.

Among the changes included in the ‘charter change’ is a proposal to substitute the current presidential and bicameral system with a single house of Parliament.

Power would then pass to the hands of a prime minister elected by Parliament who would not have a term limit, unlike the president in the current system.

But government supporters claim that the change would streamline political procedures and revive the economy.

Interior Minister Ronaldo Puno denied Thursday that the proposal was a move by Arroyo and stressed that changes are important particularly because of the global financial crisis.

Kristine Lim, Secretary General of Bayan-Nothern Mindanao Region, said the people must not be deceived by the sweet talk of the minions of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“There is no truth to these statements that the economy will change if the constitution is changed. The country will suffer all the more if the constitution is changed because of the rabid desire of pro-Arroyo lawmakers to cling to power and perpetuate her (Arroyo) stay in Malacañang,” Lim said.

She said the people should always be vigilant of the administration’s dirty tactics whose desperation to” salvage the losing credibility of the Mrs Arroyo is unspeakable.”

“After they trashed the third impeachment complaint, the bootlickers of the Palace in Congress were so dense to resuscitate charter change. The economic reforms that they see and promise if the charter is changed is nothing but lies and illusion…and they eagerly want to feed these to the Filipino people,” Lim said.(SunStar)

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