PUSH FOR THE GENUINE FULFILLMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION, NOT CHACHA:
iDefend statement on moves to revise the 1987 Constitution
In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND) believes that the many crises besetting our country do not stem from a flawed Charter, but in the neglect and the gross violation of its provisions, by the very officials sworn to uphold and defend it. Renewed attempts at revising the 1987 Constitution repeats the claim that progress requires it. We have yet to begin to fully implement our Constitution in order to see real progress, but self-interests within the government have already betrayed it.
The Philippine constitution enshrines the principles and policies that guarantee the right of every Filipino to live in freedom and dignity by ensuring that the State provides adequate social services, full employment and a decent standard of living; it mandates the promotion of social justice in all aspects of national development and holds full respect for human rights.
The Constitution provides for a national economy based on self-reliance, agrarian reform and the promotion of the rights of indigenous cultural communities as the means to achieving our people’s aspirations for peace, justice and inclusive development. Nevertheless, laws and policies have been promulgated to undermine these provisions, thus resulting in chronic poverty, injustice, deprivation and exploitation. Socio-economic, political and cultural systems have perpetuated violations of our Constitution with impunity, which only benefits the ruling elite sectors of society.
The brutality with which the State retaliates against the defense and promotion of human rights, its vilification of human rights defenders and the brokenness of the justice system continue to violate the rights and freedoms enshrined in our Constitution.
The current CHA-CHA campaign by the administration can only be construed as a means toward extended term limits and the erosion of sovereign rights through the removal of restrictions on foreign ownership of our land, natural resources, media and public utilities. The speed by which the signatures for the “People’s Initiative” was gathered is not a testimony of the people’s support to the call to change the charter but rather of political interests to exploit the people’s desperate circumstances and subvert government programs to push their agenda.
iDefend joins the nation in protest of any attempts at revising the Constitution and denounces its proponents as traitors to our historical struggle for freedom and democracy. We urge concerned government officials to focus instead on fulfilling their Constitutional obligation to end impunity, implement social justice and achieve human dignity for every Filipino.
7 February 2024