As the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments tackled proposals for charter change (Cha-cha) today, Akbayan slammed the House of Representatives’ scheme to extend term limits and give ‘almost absolute’ power to the president.

“Charter change offers no real change. It’s a scam led by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to keep the old oligarchs, trapos and warlords in power,” Akbayan President Machris Cabreros said. “The proposal by PDP-Laban to extend the terms of the President and congresspersons up to 10 years proves that the trapos shamelessly want to cling to their seats longer.”

Akbayan denounced the recently passed resolution for a constituent assembly, made up of Duterte’s supermajority, to change the constitution.

“A constituent assembly of trapos and oligarchs will make sure they have the new constitution bent to their will,” Cabreros said. “By keeping ordinary people out of the process, they can finally delete economic protections, term limits and democratic institutions in the constitution.”

Akbayan also hit the proposal to put the president as head of state and head of government during the transition period, giving Duterte powers over the legislative.

“The proposal to dissolve congress and replace it with an interim parliament leaves law-making to their vested interests before the 2022 elections,” Cabreros added. “During the transition period, it will be a free-for-all for Duterte and his ilk. Imagine laws like death penalty, immunity for the Marcoses and other draconian measures being passed.”

“An unhampered transition period plus a 10-year term is exactly what the trapos need to be unstoppable. It will give trapos more time to sell out our country’s interests. Who knows what will be left of the Philippines after their term?”

“With Chacha, the Alvarez-led House is dancing its way to a self-serving dictatorship while Filipino families remain hungry, jobless and in danger of getting killed,” Cabreros said. “The longer the trapos extend through the new constitution, the longer Filipino families suffer.”###