We are today’s generation of Filipino youth, young, vibrant and spirited, transcending professions, cultures and boundaries, and to whom the hopes and aspirations for the nation’s future is bequeathed.
Together, we vehemently oppose all attempts by the ruling Arroyo clique and its cronies in Congress to tamper with the Constitution and perpetuate itself in power. We denounce in the strongest possible terms the blatant abuse of power and treachery that have come to characterize this regime.
The shameless display of arrogance and callousness of the Arroyo government sends for all patriotic and freedom-loving young Filipinos to dissent. The signs of times are rallying us to lives of involvement and action.
The youth have always played a pivotal role in ushering in significant changes and junctures in history. We have always been at the forefront of uprisings and revolutions every time the social, political and economic conditions in society become too intolerable for Filipinos to endure.
Today, we have a moral and sacred duty to perform. We cannot remain silent or with our arms crossed. We cannot remain indifferent while our own future as a people and a nation are being compromised for selfish political ambitions. The stakes are too high for us to take a pass.
The Filipino youth are awake and are answering the urgent call of our time. Once again, we reaffirm the youth’s historic role as catalyst of change and renew our resolve to put an end to the tyranny of the Arroyo regime.
We express our solidarity with various church groups, the business sector, people’s organizations and concerned Filipino citizens who have similarly expressed opposition against any attempts of the Arroyo administration to extend her term.
We believe that national leaders should be accountable to the people and that government officials should portray the highest standards of morality and integrity to be able to propel the nation towards genuine progress, justice and peace.
We oppose the convening of a constituent assembly and Arroyo’s charter change on the following grounds:
- Any attempt at charter change by the Arroyo administration would only serve to extend President Arroyo’s regime. With her term expiration nearing, she and her allies in Congress, led by her son Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo, are left to resort to whatever “legal” means are possible to make sure she stays in power after 2010. Arroyo is desperate because she will inevitably have to answer to all the cases filed against her once she is removed from position;
- Charter change can be used by Arroyo to perpetuate herself in power through Martial Law. No different to what Ferdinand Marcos did, charter change can be used by Arroyo to remove the 60-day limit covering the President’s declaration of martial rule and to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus thus allowing the State to arrest anybody without a warrant. Alternately, the power of Congress to revoke the President’s declaration of martial law or the power of the Supreme Court to review the bases of a declaration of martial law can be removed;
- Charter Change will worsen the economic and social crises plaguing the country. All past attempts of charter change have pushed to amend economic provisions barring 100 percent foreign ownership of lands, social institutions, and basic services, industries and infrastructures in the country. This recent attempt through HR 1109 is no different as it explicitly aims to allow foreign interests and entities to dominate the country under the guise of ‘international competitiveness.’ Such a revision will only give way to further foreign exploitation and plunder of our natural resources, indigenous knowledge systems, and domestic human resources;
- Charter change will aggravate the colonial, corrupt and commercial characteristics of Philippine culture, education and mass media; and
- Charter change can allow further foreign intervention and exploitation by allowing one-sided treaties detrimental to national development and progress.
We call on all democracy-loving youth and citizens to stop efforts to change the Constitution before the 2010 elections. The government’s desperate efforts to continuously cling to power have sown deep social discontent and division among the people.
We strongly believe in the sovereign right that rests on the people to change a morally bankrupt and corrupt regime with a conscientious leadership that can genuinely unite the nation and can bring forth meaningful social change.