Anakbayan strongly condemns the abrupt approval of House Concurrent Resolution No. 9 which allows the Congress to convene as a constituent assembly (con-ass) to amend the Philippine Constitution. With blatant disregard of its own rules and procedures, the House supermajority railroaded the decision, similar to how they passed the anti-poor TRAIN Law.

Duterte’s lackeys in the lower house are clearly working double time to push for a charter change that will concentrate political and economic powers in Duterte’s hands. Through con-ass, they can expedite the installation of a Duterte dictatorship that fully accommodates his fellow oligarchs and imperialist masters.

This follows a long chain of events from the extension of martial law in Mindanao, the unabated extrajudicial killings across the country, the “terrorist” tagging of the CPP-NPA and alleged sympathizers, up to the recent moves to shutdown Rappler which all consolidate Duterte’s tyrannical rule step by step.

Charter change legitimizes Duterte’s long-standing policy of fear mongering and quelling dissent. With absolute powers, the president is more empowered to continue his fascist campaigns against the Filipino people such as the rampant militarization in the countryside, all-out war against progressives and the bloody Oplan Tokhang.

The so-called shift to a federal form of government sugarcoats the real aim which is the centralization of power in the chief executive and his cohorts. Duterte’s rubberstamp Congress is all too happy to comply amidst promises of a no-election scenario, term extensions, bigger salaries and pork barrel privileges.

Charter change further opens the country’s economy and resources to imperialist plunder. Among other contentious provisions, proposed amendments to the constitution include allowing unlimited foreign ownership and control of public utilities, land, educational institutions, and mass media.

But Duterte’s move to install himself as dictator, impose anti-people neoliberal policies in behalf of local oligarchs and foreign imperialists, and terrorize the nation will only push the Filipino people to resist his tyrannical regime.

Anakbayan calls on the Filipino youth and people to strongly fight and ultimately overthrow the Duterte regime and along with it the entire rotten system propped up by the basic social ills of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism. #


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