Women’s Day against charter change

This article is available in Pilipino

On Women’s Day, March 8, women’s groups led by Gabriela, and various democratic organizations, marched to express their opposition against the charter change (chacha) of the Marcos Jr regime, and for the human rights, livelihood and sovereignty. From España Avenue, they planned to march to Mendiola but were stopped by the police at Morayta Street. They held a program in front of the Far Eastern University in Morayta.

In the program, Gabriela presented a protest art representing the “gift” of the Marcos regime to women with the chacha brand. Inside the box are snakes symbolizing 100% foreign ownership, more US military bases in the country, and term extensions for state officials. The box is wrapped in a US flag.

“Awarding foreigners 100% ownership in the country does not answer the hot issues facing our country,” said Clarice Palce, secretary general of Gabriela. Resolution of Both Houses No. 7, the proposal for “economic chacha”, was passed on March 6 at the committee level of the lower house despite widespread opposition.

“Women are demanding livelihood, rights, and independence, not charter change for foreigners and the few,” said Palce. “We will not remain silent in the face of blatant disregard for national sovereignty and the people’s welfare.”

Workers under the Kilusang Mayo Uno and Women Workers United joined the rally and danced. They call on their fellow women workers to stand up against chacha and fight for their rights and welfare.

Peasant women under Amihan, as well as from the Bantay Bigas group and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas also attended. They demanded land and rejected chacha which they said will open up all types of land to foreign ownership.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers, and ACT Teachers Partylist also joined and danced during the march. “Teachers, the majority of whom are women, are demanding that instead of changing the Constitution, the widespread problem of low wages, unemployment and worsening inflation should be first addressed,” the group said.

The Piston-Women also attended the rally, clamoring for the return of the 5-year franchise (instead of forced consolidation under the bogus jeepney modernization program), not the chacha.

Meanwhile, Kapatid is calling for the release of political prisoners, including female political detainees. It said 164 of the 799 political prisoners as of December 31, 2023 are women.

“These brave women are unjustly detained, silenced through fabricated charges, planted with evidence and false testimonies,” according to Kapatid. Among them are wrongfully convicted prisoners such as Cleofe Magtapon, staff of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, and Alexandrea Pacalda, former campus journalist.

Members of Kalikasan PNE, Bayan Muna, Migrante, Salinlahi, International League of People’s Struggles and many others were also in the rally.

AB: Women's Day against charter change