Cha-Cha: Cebu coalition says no to Charter Change

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 16,2024 - 09:04 PM

Progressive groups in Cebu launched the “Cebu Citizens’ Against Cha-Cha” coalition and expressed their disapproval of the initiative pushing for Charter Change during a press conference on Friday, February 16, 2024. | Emmariel Ares

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cha-Cha or Charter Change is not what the Filipinos need at a time when necessities like rice are becoming too expensive and many are unemployed. 

This was the message of the newly-launched coalition called the “Cebu Citizens’ Agenda Against Cha-Cha” in reaction to the initiative on political revision.

A buzz has been going around the country recently regarding the people’s initiative to amend the 1987 Constitution.

When this came to light, various individuals and groups from different parts of the country did not shy away from showing their disapproval.

READ: DOH, DOLE deny any hand in Cha-cha signature drive

In Cebu City, some progressive groups formed a coalition with the aim to expressed their disagreement with what they deemed to be truly a “politicians’ initiative.”

During a press conference on Friday, February 16, 2024, members of the coalition  came together to say that this is not the time for constitutional revision or Cha-Cha.

“Dili pa panahon tingali [para] usbon ang atoang constitution kay wala pa man gyud siya ma-exhaust. Wala pa man siya napatuman gyud og hingpit,” stated Christina Oganiza from Akbayan Cebu.

Shem Cordova from Partido Manggagawa-Cebu backed this up by saying that instead of Cha-Cha, what the country needs is proper implementation of what the law states.

The representatives highlighted many current issues that they believe should be prioritized over the Cha-Cha initiative as they affect the lives of every citizen.

Among these is the problem on inflation rate, price of oil, employment, livelihood, living situations of the urban poor, foreign ownership, and more.

The representatives stood as one in saying that the Cha-Cha initiative has questionable intentions and effects which do not focus on the public’s needs.

They added this is because it is being pushed by elitists who do not know of the ordinary people’s grievances.

“Kami [sa Kilusan-Cebu] magpabilin moingon gikan pa niadtong unang pakana sa pagbag-o ning constitution hangtod karon na – Never to Charter Change under elite rule,” stated Emalyn Aliviano of the Kilusan-Cebu.

READ: New coalition rises vs ‘selfish’ Cha-cha

As a representative of the younger generation, Iverson Mendoza of the Youth Claim-Cebu narrated how various systematic changes in recent times have made the youth sector feel uncertain of their future.

And he called for the government to provide only service and assurance, possibly through an economic provision.

According to Mendoza, this is the opposite of what the Cha-Cha initiative is presenting.

For their first event, the coalition will be holding a rally or what they call a “festival of issues” this upcoming Friday, February 23, 2024.

The activity will begin with a Holy Mass at the Santo Rosario Parish at 9:30 a.m.

After this, around 1,000-1,500 expected participants will be marching from the parish to Osmeña Boulevard.

At around 11:00 a.m., they will be segregating at the vicinity of Colon street to hold a program for 30 minutes.

With the possibility that such an activity could cause disruptions, the representatives assured that it will be an event free of any violence and that will take only a short amount of time.

Furthermore, they encouraged other groups and individuals to join them on the rally, citing that Cha-Cha is an issue that affects everyone.

“Mao na manawagan mi, ubani mi. Gusto namo protektahan ang atong katungod. Gusto namo protektahan ang atong constitution. Wala mi gidapigan nga presidente, wala mi gidapigan nga politiko. Ang atong dapigan ang atong kaugalingon,” said Oganiza.

READ: Cha-cha will only burden Filipino taxpayers

Teody Navea of the Siglakas added that they are gearing up for more events to show that they are determined to stand for what they believe in and that is to scrap the Cha-Cha initiative..

The launching event was attended by Fr. Ramon Echica and representatives of the Fellowship for Organizing Endeavors (FORGE), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP-Cebu), KILUSAN-Cebu, and Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pamilyang Pantawid (SNPP) Cebu Chapter.

Also in attendance were members of Partido  Manggagawa Cebu, Akbayan Cebu, Urban Poor Alliance of Cebu, Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) Cebu, and Youth Claim-Cebu. | with Mark Bandolon, CTU Intern

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TAGS: cha-cha, charter change, Constitution

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