Tag Archives: Charter Change

[In the news] Con-Com chair says House draft charter a ‘disaster to democracy’ -abs-cbn.com

Con-Com chair says House draft charter a ‘disaster to democracy’

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte’s Consultative Committee warned the public about the “deficiencies” of a proposed federal charter drafted and approved by the House of Representatives.

Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, chair of the committee, said the House’s draft charter, which he believes was “haphazardly” approved, offers a bogus federal form of government.

“We agreed not to endorse this House resolution and to inform the public about its defects and deficiencies. This version is a disaster to our democracy,” he told ANC Thursday.

“They did not create a federal government. They did not create districts. It’s a bogus federalism… Congress will have a monopoly of power in creating these states,” he added.

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[Statement] NO to a charter change that will further entrench political dynasties, extend terms of office and surrender our sovereignty! -AMRSP

NO to a charter change that will further entrench political dynasties, extend terms of office and surrender our sovereignty!

STATEMENT ON THE 32ND ANNIVERSARY OF EDSA I

“If my people… shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence,
and turn from their evil ways, I will forgive them their sins, and I will revive their land.” 2 Chr 7:14

We, the members of the ASSOCIATION OF MAJOR RELIGIOUS SUPERIORS IN THE PHILIPPINES, join the whole nation in celebrating the 32nd Anniversary of the 1986 EDSA Revolution. From the dark years of martial law until the fall of the dictatorship, the Church had played an important role. Throughout the years, the Church has had an undeniable influence in shaping the Philippines’ history.

The birth of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) in the early 70s, in particular, was a reaction and an answer to the realities during those turbulent years. This year, in celebration of the anniversary of People Power I, the AMRSP also rekindle that fire of hope in a miracle that a peaceful revolution is indeed possible.

To dream the impossible dream – At EDSA we fulfilled a seemingly impossible dream. A united people toppled a dictatorship after 14 long years of tyranny and darkness. At EDSA, we shouted NEVER AGAIN! The aftermath of EDSA I saw in the Filipino nation a genuine sense of hope. Our bishops in those times saw the events of February 1986 as having renewed the Filipinos’ faith in each other, the faith in their nation, and deeper still, our faith in God who writes our history.

To fight the unbeatable foe – Fourteen long years of struggle and resistance paid for by blood, sweat and tears of our martyrs and heroes paved the way for the EDSA uprising. The unsung, faceless and nameless heroes and martyrs of the resistance paid with their lives so that we may taste freedom and democracy. We showed the world that dictatorship can be toppled. Tyranny can collapse in the face of a united and determined people rising up to change their lot.

To bear with unbearable sorrow – More than 100,000 victims of human rights violations and their descendants still bear the sorrow of a disappeared kin, a salvaged son or daughter, a tortured freedom fighter and the years of separation because of imprisonment.

To run where the brave dare not go. – AMRSP cast its lot with the poor, deprived, oppressed but struggling sectors of our society. True to its prophetic tradition it members immersed themselves in factories, slums, haciendas, in the lupang ninuno of the IPs and lumads, in the mountains even. And these they all did, our forebears, to “right the unrightable wrong”, “to love pure and chaste” not from afar but totally immersed in the daily life-struggles of the workers, peasants, indigenous peoples, urban poor, women and youth.

At EDSA we reached that unreachable star!

Today we are once again called to continue to dream and to toil in the vineyard to realize that dream. The struggle to emancipate our people from poverty and want remains an “unbeatable foe”. Dynasties and elitism remain an “unrightable wrong”. Tyranny and the insatiable lust for wealth and power remain the bane of our leaders. Hate and divisions reign in our politics, culture and social life! Indeed there is a pressing need to change ourselves and our society!

This year, the Philippine Church celebrates the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons. These same people stood side by side with other Filipinos and faced the danger of being killed; men and women armed with rosaries, flowers and prayers. The legacy of EDSA I and the lessons that we learn from it bid us to assert and fight for the following ideals:

Never Again to tyranny and dictatorship!
Yes to rule of law and justice!
Yes to an equitable distribution of our wealth and resources!
No to political dynasties!
Yes to people empowerment and a government for, of and by the people!

Today we say NO to a charter change that will further entrench political dynasties, extend terms of office and surrender our sovereignty!

Today we march for our rights, our freedoms and our dreams for a better life for our people!

Today we light a candle for peace and justice, for all of Creation. Today we light a candle in hope that we may be led to the path of righteousness and a land flowing with milk and honey.

Follow AMRSP @
Website: http://www.amrsp.ph
Facebook: @amrsp.org

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[Statement] AMRSP’S Statement on Federalism and Charter Change

AMRSP’S Statement on Federalism and Charter Change

The wisdom from above is first pure… open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere (James 3:17)

We as a Filipino nation are again at the crossroads. We are facing a big challenge to change or not to change our form of government from present unitary system to federalism.

We in the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) call on all concerned Filipino citizens to discern well the will of God for us and for the generations to come. Reckless decisions will surely lead our nation into chaos and bleak future.

On January 29, 2018 at the Institute for Religious Formation and Studies (IFRS), forty two religious superiors and one hundred eight consecrated men and women with their lay and mission partners reflected on these questions: Why the rush to have a federal form of government? Why now? Why change the 1987 Philippine Constitution which is a product of the people’s long struggle for democracy, good governance and social justice?

The train of Charter Change and Federalism is gathering speed at the Congress and threatens to ram through the shift to federalism even without widespread, thorough, sane and sober discussions and debates on the issue.

We are deeply bothered by the partisanship that has now taken over the reins of charter change and federalism. A shameless proposal to extend terms of office has been inserted to the legislative draft at the lower house. Threats have been hurled at local government units who will not toe the line. This does not augur well for a free and informed discussion on the issues at hand.

We are concerned that the push for charter change and federalism train will divert our legislators and peoples’ attention from the more pressing problems of poverty and a humane quality of life; of empowerment and entrenched political dynasties; of integrity of creation in the midst of a murderous rampage to pillage and desecrate the environment; of the continuing diaspora of our fellow Filipinos to distant lands and the wholeness and well-being of the family; of the assaults on our national sovereignty and the need to safeguard what is rightfully ours; the systematic massacre of alleged drug addicts and pushers and our right to life; the defiance of the rule of law and the weakening of our democratic institutions; and the insidious attacks on human dignity and human rights.

We are one with our bishops in declaring that “the solution we seek is ultimately the transformation of our political culture… Without conversion of mindsets, the new political wine of Charter change will remain in old political wine-skins, and merely end up bursting the hope for a new political culture.”

We, therefore, during this Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons, call on all the members of our congregations to help facilitate the discernment of the citizenry, making use of our school, convent and church facilities and premises, to make a wise collective decision in this historic moment. As prophets and mystics of our times, we encourage all Filipino people, with their hearts and minds purified, to engage in a lively discussion to ensure that it is us, not just a few, who are charting the future of our nation. To wit,

1. Create and widen Circles of Conversations on the current situation and to amplify awareness on the 1987 Philippine Constitution, human rights, human dignity, justice and peace for an informed and enlightened faithful.

2. Disseminate the CBCP Pastoral Statement to our communities and encourage discussions and reflections from our fellow religious, consecrated persons, lay partners and students and all who take part in our ministries.

3. To prepare our communities for calls to action when we are called upon to defend dignity and democracy.

Knowing our limitations as servant leaders, political or religious, we pray to God for guidance,

“God of our ancestors, Lord of mercy, you who have made all things by your Word and in your wisdom have established humankind to rule the creatures produced by you, and to govern the world in holiness and righteousness, and to render judgment in integrity of heart, give us Wisdom, the consort at your throne, and do not reject us from among your children, for we are your servants, the children of your maidservant, persons weak and short-lived and lacking in comprehension of judgment and of laws.”

(adapted from Wisdom 9,1-5)

Signed, this 31st day of January 2018, for the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines:

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