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2018 State of the Nation: Duterte’s Charter change facilitates authoritarian rule

Sunday, 22 July 2018

The House of Representatives is rushing to change the 1987 Constitution in order to impose a Federalized system of government that will institutionalize President Duterte’s authoritarian regime- despite an increasing number of Filipinos opposed to Chacha (Charter change). In a recent survey of Pulse Asia, Filipinos are more concerned with their health, labor contractualization (ENDO), and increased prices of food, transportation, electricity, water and petrol due to the TRAIN law. The survey also revealed there is very little public knowledge or understanding about Federalism.

Only Duterte and his political minions are pushing for this agenda to the disadvantage of the Filipino people—the strengthening of political dynasties, term extension of incumbent officials, runaway taxation and price hikes to prop up the federal states, surrendering our patrimony and sovereign territorial rights, unending martial law, consolidation of big drug lords and relentless human rights violations.

The State of the Nation under Duterte’s rule languishes in a culture of violence and extrajudicial killings, entrenched corruption, impunity, misogyny and a plummeting economy. Duterte’s two years has unmasked a fake war on drugs at the expense of more than 20,000 EJK victims, inflationary economic management, dismantling of democratic institutions, fake news and historical revisionism. No wonder the President expects to deliver such a short SONA speech!

The only real change Duterte delivered was to the ruling elite class he belongs to, because they now occupy the halls of power and shamelessly exploit public funds. Meanwhile Filipinos are realizing that they are paying for this so-called change with their lives, their livelihood and their future. This is not a nation asking for a change in the political system, it is a nation needing a change in leadership.

Thus the people’s resistance must be manifest, we must reject Duterte’s authoritarian project and continue to uphold human rights towards real change.