By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Labor group Federation of Free Workers (FFW) has said it supports Charter change but only through Constitutional Convention.
Sonny Matula, president of the FFW, said Cha-Cha is “too risky” to be left alone to the party in power which is dominated by traditional politicians.
“The FFW strongly opposes the House Speaker’s opinion to convene as a Constituent Assembly (ConAss) even without the Senate and to force no elections (NoEl) through people’s initiative to give time to incumbent members of Congress to work on charter change,” he said in a statement.
“The Senate is an indispensable part of Congress and it is a grave abuse of discretion to ignore one or any of the two chambers of Congress in charter change,” added Matula.
He said the proposal has been floated once or twice before and the FFW has consistently opposed such moves to undermine democratic safeguards in the Constitution.
“If the House will push through with convening a ConAss, the FFW together with other workers and other civil society groups will bring the matter to the streets and to the Supreme Court,” Matula said.
FFW reiterated its categorical opposition to the NoEl proposal paving the way for the “extension of term” of office of elected officials.
“NoEl is undemocratic and an act of selfishness and of taking advantage of one’s mandate,” Matula said.
“The proposal of the speaker to have people’s initiative to cancel elections and then convene as ConAss to rewrite and overhaul the constitution is impractical and illegal,” said Matula.
However, the FFW said they support the shift from a presidential to a parliamentary form of government, and from a unitary republic to the formation of federal states into one Republic of the Philippines, but it is not their priority at this time rather wage increase and ending contractualization.