Caritas: Current Cha-Cha push failing to meet 'moral benchmarks'

Caritas: Current Cha-Cha push failing to meet 'moral benchmarks'
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THE social action arm of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) expressed opposition on Friday, January 12, 2024, to the ongoing push for the amendment of the 1987 Constitution, saying the actions of its proponents fail to meet "crucial moral benchmarks."

In a statement, Caritas Philippines scored proponents of Charter Change for keeping their efforts under the wraps and cloaked in secrecy from the people.

"The CBCP has always taught that 'if the Constitution is to be revised at all, the process should lead to a greater defense and promotion of the moral values of human dignity and human rights, integrity and truth, participation and solidarity, and the common good'," said Caritas Philippines president Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo.

"Any attempt to alter the Constitution, especially when shrouded in secrecy and lacking genuine public participation, raises serious concerns about its true motives... the current push fails to meet these crucial moral benchmarks," he added.

Add to this, the prelate said, is that the push for changing the Constitution is being linked to politicians, instead of the Filipino people, despite the method being used is People's Initiative (PI).

"The country's fundamental law is not a political football to be kicked around at the whims of those in power," said Bagaforo.

Earlier, reports came out that efforts to gather enough number of signatures from registered voters for the PI are already ongoing.

Reports also stated that some local government officials are asking residents to sign the PI petition in exchange for payment of P100.

Instead of pushing for Charter Change, Caritas Philippines said it would be better if the government will prioritize measures to eradicate corruption and ensure the efficient and effective delivery of basic social services.

These, it said, include passing legislations for environmental protection, anti-dynasty measures, and electoral reforms.

"The Filipino people deserve a government that prioritizes their needs and aspirations, not personal agendas," said the bishop.

"Let's focus on building a just and equitable society, not on rewriting the Constitution for personal gain," added Bagaforo. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)

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