Fight the pro-imperialist “chacha” of the US-Marcos regime

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This article is available in PilipinoIlocoBisayaHiligaynon

Based on the end-goal of “changing the economic provisions” to give foreign capitalists greater freedom to possess and plunder the country’s wealth and amass super profits, the hands of US imperialism is clearly behind the current push of the US-Marcos regime to change the reactionary 1987 constitution.

Hundreds of millions of pesos were poured by the ruling regime to coordinate the mobilization of Marcos’ men in congress, senate and local governments. The two separate initiatives in the Lower House and the Senate have the same goal, despite differences between some politicians regarding the method and scope of the constitutional amendments.

Initiated by the Marcos-Romualdez camp, a sham “people’s initiative” was launched to insert into the 1987 constitution the provision for joint voting by the Upper and Lower Houses of Congress (as opposed to voting separately) in adopting proposals for constitutional amendment. It clearly aims to give the Lower House the controlling power to easily change the constitution.

On the other hand, a Resolution of Both Houses is now being pushed by the Senate to insert the words “unless otherwise provided by law” in some key provisions. It aims to empower the reactionary congress to simply enact legislation to allow foreign ownership or control of land, public services, education, mass media and advertising.

The resistance of various forces and sectors spread like wildfire when the news broke of the push for “chacha.” The “people’s initiative” was met with widespread criticism when it stank after it was revealed that signatures were paid for with ₱100, or was obtained in exchange for the promise of aid or threats to deny it. The prospect of pushing the “term extension” or extending the terms of the president and other officials of the reactionary government was also met with resistance; as well as the push for neoliberal amendments that will completely kill the economic independence of the Philippines.

As the constitution of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system, the 1987 Constitution is reactionary and serves the interests of the oppressive and exploitative ruling classes. Since it was developed and adopted after the EDSA uprising in 1986 and in the face of the rising wave of the democratic mass movement, the ruling state was compelled to accept democratic and patriotic embellishments, including declaring a policy to preserve the national patrimony, promotion of democratic rights, setting limits on the term of the president and other officials and on imposing martial law, prohibiting foreign military bases and nuclear weapons, and others.

However, for more than three and a half decades, past reactionary governments did not allow themselves to be restrained by the 1987 Constitution. Its provisions were circumvented or outrightly violated through various laws and policies which indiscriminately trampled on democratic rights, opened various areas of the economy to foreign capitalist control and domination, granted extraterritorial rights to American troops, and increased the power of political dynasties.

The purpose of the “chacha” plan, which has been attempted by previous governments, is to completely remove the patriotic and democratic embellishments from the 1987 constitution. This plan is anti-people, anti-poor, anti-national and anti-democratic, and will serve the interests of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism. Marcos specifically aims to erase the anti-Marcos legacy in the 1987 constitution. In the face of the severe social and economic crisis, oppression and repression, the US-Marcos regime’s “chacha” scheme is certain to bring only more suffering to the Filipino people.

The people must vigorously fight the “chacha” because it will further worsen the backward system dependent on foreign investment and imports, which drives up commodity prices, suppresses wages, and promotes corruption by political dynasties. This will permanently cripple the economy and take away the country’s ability to stand on its own two feet, and completely turn the country into a launching pad for US wars of aggression.

The push of “chacha” opens a new field of resistance for the Filipino people to advance their patriotic and democratic interests. The national-democratic forces must thoroughly engage in this battle to unite and mobilize the largest number of people to frustrate the dark scheme of the US-Marcos regime.

A broad and intensive campaign of education, propaganda and mass agitation should be carried out in communities, factories, schools, markets, churches and so on. Exert all possible efforts to reach millions of citizens through various forms of mass propaganda (written statements, mass discussions, assemblies, cultural performances and so on). Promote a comprehensive antifascist, anti-imperialist and antifeudal position against the “chacha.” Expose the roots of the crisis in the economy and people’s livelihood. Expose how the country is tied to the political and economic interests of the US, and how the lack of independence is now allowing the country to be dragged into the rivalry and strife between the imperialist powers.

The opportunity must be seized to expand and strengthen mass organizations and unions. At the same time, different forms, levels and breadth of anti-“chacha” alliances (against one or several aspects of it) must be formed to win over a wide range of middle forces, including the millions who took part in the 2022 mass actions against the Marcos-Duterte clique.

The determined and militant resistance of the Filipino people will stop the anti-people and pro-imperialist “chacha.” The fight to oppose Marcos’ plot to remove the anti-dictatorship legacy of the 1987 Constitution adds historical significance to the upcoming commemoration of the anniversary of the EDSA uprising on February 25, and will serve as an ideal opportunity to rally the people against the US-Marcos regime.

Fight the pro-imperialist "chacha" of the US-Marcos regime