CHA-CHA: To Lift Philippine’s Skirt

Just like My Husband’s Lover, Muling Buksan ang Puso, Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala, and any other telenovelas airing in every Filipino’s television every night, a drama—very well crafted by the government—is definitely catching up on the ratings nowadays.

Blatant as ever, after being denied by the 15th congress, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., together with the other yellow lawmakers, had again proposed a ‘revised’ Charter Change to the new Congress. Cha-Cha was to remove restrictions on foreign ownership and to open the Philippine economy to foreign capital and business.

Now, the question is, does it answer the worsening poverty and increasing unemployment that the Filipinos had been suffering under the Aquino government?

According to IBON Foundation, Noynoy Aquino is the most sluggish when it comes to land distribution among all presidents. From a landlord’s viewpoint, land distribution in the Philippines is a game. Farmers have to fight to win their lands back, but are pushed to give up because of inefficiency. On the other hand, landlords enjoy it through this useless CARP extension with reform. At the end, the oppressed loses their chance to win since the oppressor has always been monopolizing the game from the very beginning. That’s why Hacienda Luisita remains to be in the hands of these filthy rich Cojuangcos, where Aquino himself belongs to. Peasants don’t have their own lands to till until now.

Workers experience the same with greedy local and foreign capitalists. Apart from dominating the market and accumulating large profit, workers under them do not have security of tenure and equal compensation in exchange of labor. A capitalist sees our hardworking parents as robots that they can control and dismiss from work as to when he wants to. Just to give an up-to-date example, workers from Compostela Valley are now conducting a strike along Sales St. to strongly protest against Rotto-Freshmax. The Korean owned company had illegally dismissed 42 workers, who were landowners and union members at the same time.

If you happen to read the Philippine Constitution, there are regulations that protect our national sovereignty. Yet, our economy stays the same. A failure. What more if we give these greedy foreign investors the total, 100% access to our national wealth and resources?

What Charter Change really aims is to allow foreign control of our public utilities, education, natural resources, land ownership and professions, contradicting to how much our Constitution’s standard limits, leaving us with nothing. In simple terms, this is a clear submission to foreign interest and colonization.

One manifestation was Sendong’s dreadful visit to Mindanao two years ago, as well as Pablo’s, in December last year. Such huge devastation of communities and countryside was due to excessive exploitation of foreign large-scale mining companies of our abundant mountains and lands. This may repeatedly occur if Cha-Cha will be approved, since our mineral reserves will also be opened up.

Another was during election period, when the president expressed his gratitude to these certain foreign investors in choosing the Philippines to be their venue for business. That was after Aquino boasted the 7.8% economic growth, highest in Asia. He also stressed that this had paved the way for Filipinos to get jobs for themselves. But how would that justify the 11% increase in unemployment this year?

Thus, Joint House Resolution No. 1 is not and will never be in favor of the Filipinos.

It’s disappointing how the present administration, which then promised to be different from its predecessor, is still taking the same, dirty old path. Aquino’s Philippine Development Program is the same as Arroyo’s Medium Term Development Plan —to attract foreign investors for exploitation of cheap labor and natural resources in the name of ‘development’. What’s happening now shows no difference. We are still under similar government and we had merely changed the ruler.

There goes the drama. Scriptwriter Belmonte asks Director Aquino to direct the telenovela he had written, with the Philippines as the protagonist. There’s no way that Aquino won’t approve, so as soon as this will be granted, foreign investors will be encouraged to play as antagonists. As written and directed, the Philippines is now open for exploitation and abuse, just like how women are portrayed in movies and TV series. One by one, the antagonists will start to rape the protagonist, until it has nothing. More of that gang rape which Vice Ganda had imagined during his concert.

I guess the Filipinos had already given so much time for the reactionary government to enjoy the Gang Rape series that they’ve produced. No one’s enjoying it anymore. Perhaps it’s time to stop the airing. Amending the constitution is good as saying, ‘here is Philippines lifting its skirt. Come rape it as much as you want!

Mariel May S. Moralde
Anakbayan-Davao City