Curfew petitioners the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (Spark) commemorated the historic People Power anniversary with a call to for an alternative between what they called “two evils” – the 1987 contstitution and the proposed charter change of the ruling PDP-Laban that will lead to the establishment of a federal state.
The group believes that the 32nd anniversary of the popular uprising that toppled the Marcos dictatorship is “the most oppurtune moment to propose a third way” as people recollect the bitter lessons of our nation’s scarred past and aspire for a better a society”.
Spark asserts that they are neither in favor of defending the flawed 1987 constitution drafted after the revolutionary government of former president Corazon Aquino nor the proposal to shift to a federal system of the Duterte administration which they claim “will also not benefit the marginalized but on the contrary will only enable and concentrate economic and political power to the already entrenched political dynasties”.
“We must return to the original essence of the EDSA uprising and not the part of self-serving political clans that jostled for the hearts and minds of the masses only to perpetuate themselves in power. The peoples’ revolt was a bona fide attempt to free themselves from debilitating poverty, corruption and inequality under Marcos, said Joanne Lim.
“Now, it has been thirty-two years since the victory of ousting Duterte’s idol and thirty-two years since the failed promises of liberal democracy through the 1987 constitution. Many are still left struggling to feed their families, to acquire adequate jobs and to send children to school,” she continued.
They group fears that forwarding federalism under the pretense that the dismal state of our country is caused by undistributed wealth and power, though undisputable, will not as well resolve today’s social ills.
Lim affirms that the “composition of the constituent assembly in itself is proof enough that the peoples' interests will not be put front and center, leaving out marginalized sectors voiceless, and left to the traditional politicians”.
They contend that the 'EDSA constitution' though way more liberal than Marcos's vision for the nation, has its own share of criticisms. They cited widespread contractualization, a failed agrarian reform program, the ballooning public debt, highly commercialized education and no enabling law to counter political dynasties can all be sourced or were allowed to perpetuate under this charter.
The idealistic youth proposes a new constitution that goes beyond the 1987 constitution and the proposal of the Duterte allies. They say the new charter must constitute the pressing concerns of the basic masses and must be devoid of both the local and international corporate interests.
“Our people must have a genuine choice, not between worse or worst, and certainly not between two evils. The people deserve a new charter to amend the errors of the past and achieve sustainable and substantial social reforms,” Lim concluded. ###