- The Professors of Peace led by top university heads all over the country denounce charter change via a constituent assembly
- The signature campaign rejects the calls to no exercise of suffrage in 2019
- All of them believe that there are more pressing issues that the government must face and immediately address rather than the expedition led by self-interest
On Wednesday, multitudes of professors and academicians hailing from different universities and colleges voiced out their defiance toward the 1987 Constitutional amendment via a Constituent Assembly.
KAMI learned that the signature campaign was led by the Professors for Peace movement, which attempts to let the public know about their opposition toward the planned constituent assembly.
"Given the far-reaching implications of this reform, we believe the process must be much more participatory—including not just those who are for this reform, but also those who oppose it. International policy experience and evidence suggests that constitutional reforms are more effective if deliberations are front-loaded at the crafting stage, rather than belatedly appended once these reforms are already ratified."
The movement is said to encapsulate all the fears and doubts of several academicians agreeing upon one aim, to promote a more participatory process in what they perceive as seemingly malicious and expeditious steps taken by the government to change the charter.
Professors for Peace signature campaign also denounces the 'no-el' (No Elections) in 2019, spearheaded by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. He said that this will pave way to a faster shift to federalism. The last bolded out statement in the signature campaign underscores this dilemma. "We do not support calls to postpone or cancel elections in 2019."
The signatories comprise all of the 5 Ateneo universities in the country as well as UP Diliman chancellor Michael Tan and De La Salle University president Armin Luistro. Universities from the southern parts of the Philippines also joined the movement.
The movement says that supporting this would enable and buttress the influential powers of pre-existing political dynasties in our country.
"Almost 80% of Congress is comprised of political dynasties, and the empirical evidence suggests that a majority of them may face deep conflict of interest if a new constitution aims for reforms that level the political playing field. The risk of capture by vested interests affecting our present politics is too great."
Professors for Peace also argue that there are more pressing issues to face rather than the expedition of this reform, which they see as prejudicial to the overall development of the nation.
"Finally, we believe that there are more pressing and immediate policy challenges that our leaders must address. The rising death toll linked to the Tokhang [sic] campaign, which now includes many children and young people. The killings of political leaders and priests also further raise the spectre of injustice. Rising prices of basic commodities, transportation and other needs are also hitting the poor, our workers, and millions of low income households. If these are unresolved, then how can we credibly unite around “rule of law” and “human rights” under an amended constitution?"
UP College of Law professor also said in a report by Inquirer that the current Philippine Congress cannot be trusted to alter the Constitution.
"Congress cannot be trusted to change the Constitution and so Charter change by Constituent Assembly [sic] will doom all chances of doing that.Any Charter change via Constituent Assembly [sic] is self-serving, including having no elections. It perpetuates people in power and disempowers the people’s ability to decide the future of the country."
Senators had also voiced out their concerns over the people's initiative led by the House Speaker. Senator Grace Poe said that this might be his crafty ways to promote a fastidious self-interest.
"The Speaker should not try any shortcuts and tricks if he believes the proposed Charter is judicious and a true solution to the needs of our people."
Senator Panfilo Lacson also raised his concern over the no elections in 2019. "It goes without saying, majority of the senators, even those running for reelection, will fight tooth and nail any attempt to cancel the 2019 midterm elections simply because it is wrong and self-serving."
This awkward phone call leaves a bunch of strangers from the Philippines shocked and surprised. Are you interested to find out what the phone call is about? How come these strangers are so shocked after hearing it? This video presents the reactions of many strangers after hearing what the man is talking about on the phone. on KAMI HumanMeter channel!