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Marcos Jr. trying to “cha-cha” further into the arms of the US

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Robert Reid | Chairperson FFPS

The US-backed Marcos Jr. regime is aggressively pushing for a significant overhaul of the Philippine Constitution of 1987. This proposed charter change, commonly referred to as “cha-cha”, aims to amend the Constitution in order to favor foreign imperialists and local ruling cliques. 

Since it was developed and adopted in the aftermath of the EDSA uprising in 1986 which ousted the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the ruling classes were forced to include some democratic and patriotic additions to the 1987 Constitution. Despite this, previous and current reactionary regimes have used numerous ways to by-pass these to serve their own interests and those of imperialists powers. For example, the rotational presence of US troops and military equipment under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement to by-pass the prohibition of foreign bases and nuclear weapons.

The current “cha-cha” plan is heavily supported by US imperialism, through which Marcos Jr. secured hundreds of millions of pesos to mobilize the support of Marcos’ men in congress, senate and local governments. It essentially aims to remove any progressive elements present in the 1987 Constitution and further tighten the grip of the US on all aspects of Philippine society.

By removing the limitations on foreign ownership, the US-Marcos Jr. regime plans to open up the Philippine economy even more and expose vital industries to ownership by foreign capitalists. Despite this being presented as a necessary and advantageous liberalization of the economy, it will only worsen the backward system dependent on foreign investment and imports which drives up commodity prices, suppresses wages, and promotes corruption by political dynasties. Furthermore, the “cha-cha” amendments could allow Marcos Jr. to remove the 1-term limit on the presidency and are likely to intensify the military hold of the US on the Philippine islands as a launching pad for increased imperialist aggression in Asia.

At its core, “cha-cha” would only worsen the major stumbling blocks to the Filipino people’s freedom, which are imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. Under these stumbling blocks or root causes, the majority of the Philippine populace suffer from landlessness, squeezing super profit from labor and other forms of worsening exploitation and intensifying oppression.

This is why the Filipino people vigorously oppose the anti-people “cha-cha” pushed by the US-Marcos Jr. regime and continue to expose the hypocrisy of the Duterte clique, who pretends to side with the people while only pursuing his own interests. 

As Friends of the Filipino People in Struggle (FFPS) we condemn the “cha-cha” as a ploy by US imperialism to intensify its domination over the Philippines. We call on all peace-loving people to join us in internationally echoing the calls of the Filipino people and further expose and oppose the oppressive and exploitative Marcos and Duterte camps, whose violent administrations have only aggravated the people’s sufferings. It is these worsening exploitative and oppressive conditions that lay the very foundation of the Filipino people’s resistance. We as FFPS stand with the Filipino people and their comprehensive revolutionary struggle for a just and lasting peace in the Philippines. A peace which can only be achieved by addressing the root causes of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.