Groups protest Cha-cha, Marcos Jr. admin despite EDSA anniversary absence

Groups protest Cha-cha, Marcos Jr.
admin despite EDSA anniversary absence

DESPITE the non-celebration of the EDSA People Power anniversary this year, progressive groups protested against President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s administration, particularly opposing the proposed constitutional amendment, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024.

According to Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Central Visayas chairperson Jaime Paglinawan, around 300 protesters gathered at the Fuente Osmeña Circle at 9:30 a.m., on Sunday.

The demonstration was led by various sectoral organizations, including labor unions, student groups, and civil society organizations, who are displeased with the policies and actions of the current government.

Protesters marched through Cebu City streets to Colon St., carrying placards and banners that called for urgent action from the administration on pressing issues.

Paglinawan said, alongside Bayan Central Visayas, several other militant groups joined the protest, including Alyansa sa mga Mamumuo sa Sugbo-Kilusang Mayo Uno, Anakbayan, Panaghugpong Kadamay, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas - Cebu, Piston Cebu, Sanlakas, and Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino.

‘No to Chacha’

The main issue raised by the groups was the proposed Charter Change (Chacha), which aims to amend the 1987 Constitution. The proposal has sparked controversy due to the perceived threat it poses to democratic institutions and human rights.

Paglinawan is against constitutional revision, saying it only benefits the political elite and those with high societal influence.

“It is not (due to) the 1987 Constitution why many urban poor still do not have decent housing (and) farmers are still fighting for their lands. It is not because of our constitutional laws but because of the greediness of the politicians,” he said in Cebuano.

He argued that the passage of Chacha will only prosper neoliberal policies, including privatization, deregulation and denationalization of business ownership. Neoliberalism is an ideology favoring free-market capitalism aiming to reduce government intervention in the economy.

Last December, Marcos announced that the government had initiated a study on potential amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution, to attract increased foreign investment.

Paglinawan expressed concerns about the potential implications of a Chacha, alleging that it could lead to term extensions of politicians.

People Power

The People Power Revolution was a series of mass demonstrations that occurred from Feb. 22 to 25, 1986. It ultimately led to the overthrow of the authoritarian regime of the late dictator and former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., father of the incumbent President.

Proclamation No. 368, signed by Marcos in October 2023, listed the official national holidays, non-working days, and special non-working days for 2024. However, it did not include the Edsa People Power Revolution anniversary.

Malacañang Palace released an explanation, stating that Feb. 25, the date of the Edsa People Power Revolution anniversary, falls on a Sunday, which is why it was not included in the list of special non-working days for the year 2024.

During the term of former President Rodrigo Duterte, he declared the revolution’s anniversary as a non-working holiday in 2018, despite it falling on a Sunday.


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