Various groups launch Black Friday Protest against chacha in Manila

This article is available in Pilipino

Yesterday, February 23, various youth groups, national minorities and other democratic sectors launched simultaneous and successive activities and protests against the foreign-orient and anti-people scheme to amend the 1987 Constitution or charter change (chacha).

In Manila, youth groups marched along the university belt (U-Belt) against chacha, especially for opening up the education sector to full foreign ownership. They said this will worsen the already commercialized education where students are commodified.

Far Eastern University, University of Sto. Tomas, University of the East, and other private universities in the U-Belt are among those that can be opened to foreign ownership. Currently, students at these schools face another tuition fee increase and suppression of campus publications.

There were also actions in the campuses of the University of the Philippines-Diliman, UP-Manila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, De la Salle University and in front of Ateneo University.

“Marcos’ pro-foreigner and anti-people charter change is clear to the student-youth,” said the League of Filipino Students. They encouraged their fellow students to participate in the action to be held before the Edsa Shrine on February 25.

National minority groups led the march in Mendiola in Manila against chacha. They vehemently reject the proposed change that would allow foreign ownership of their ancestral lands and territories.

“Indigenous people are one of the most affected by the promotion of chacha under the Marcos Jr. administration,” Katribu said. “Land grabbing will worsen, and plunder, militarization and bombing of the countryside will continue.”

In the protest, they carried out the symbolic trashing of the chacha proposal, along with the faces of Marcos Jr, Sara Duterte and Martin Romualdez. Members of the Bayan Muna Partylist and other groups to defend indigenous rights participated in the action.

Broad anti-chacha alliances

At the same time, the teachers, led by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, launched the Teachers, Education Workers, and Academics Against Cha-Cha (TEACH) alliance.

Teachers call for the government to prioritize the grievances of different sectors of society, instead of working for chacha. These include the worsening crisis in education and its budget shortfall. “The time and treasury of the people should be directed to increasing the salaries of teachers and other workers, adding classrooms, increasing public services for the benefit of the masses,” according to TEACH. Its call: Chacha back off! Increase wages!”

Earlier, youth groups formed the Movement Against Charter Change Youth Alliance (Matcha Alliance) on February 21 to unite various youth groups against chacha.

AB: Various groups launch Black Friday Protest against chacha in Manila