MANILA - Cause-oriented group Tindig Pilipinas vowed Tuesday to counter the efforts of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who is going around the country to promote Charter change and the shift to a federal form of government.
The group said the real intention behind moves to amend the Constitution is to provide term extensions for those who are already in power.
“Our rights and freedoms enshrined in the 1987 Constitution - the very freedoms our elders 32 years ago fought for against a corrupt, tyrannical regime are under attack because of the Duterte administration’s moves to change the Constitution in order to keep their grasp in power,” according to the statement issued by the group.
The group also slammed Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa who threatened war against those who are criticizing the administration.
"Siya ang Chief PNP ng buong sambayan at hindi siya private army ni Duterte. Dapat ang kanyang loyalty ay nasa Konstitusyon, nasa taumbayan," Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said.
“Hindi lahat ng pagtitimpi ay napipigilan. Parang bulkan 'yan, General Bato. Natatakot pa kami ngayon at nagtitimpi. Ibig sabihin ayaw namin maging marahas din, pero s'yempre ang pagtitimpi dumarating sa pagtitiis at ang pagtitiis pag natapos dumarating sa pagtutuos,” said Jose Morales of Asosasyon ng Samahang Pantao.
The group also criticized President Duterte for saying the Philippines can become a province of China.
“Parang nakalimot ang Pangulo sa napakahabang paglaban natin para sa kalayaan,” former peace adviser Ging Deles said.
"It talks about territorial integrity. It talks about our own sovereignty. Napakahirap naman na mismong Pangulo natin nagsasabing mabuti pang maging probinsya tayo ng China,” Alejano said.
A Palace spokesman, however, said President Duterte was only joking when he made the remark.
The group said it is planning a mass action at the People Power Monument on February 25 at 5:00 p.m. Organizations under Tindig Pilipinas such as the Civil Society Organizations Guild, Everywoman and Asosasyon ng Samahang Pantao are also strengthening their presence in the provinces.
Aside from the groups, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano and Ifugao Rep Teddy Baguilat also said they will be joining the protest.
“Dinadala na namin sa probinsya, nag-launch na po ang Tindig sa Caraga. We are also launching in Zamboanga, Cebu, Iloilo and Bacolod. Dinadala ho namin ang awareness generation sa provinces,” said Jozy Acosta Nisperos of the CSO Guild.
The group also criticized Alvarez for the way he is explaining the charter change proposal at the grassroots level.
“Hindi nila naiintindihan kung ano ang laman ng pagbabago ng Konstitusyon. Ang laging sinasabi maganda ito sa buhay parang, panacea to the problem eh hindi naman sinasabi kung ano ang talagang nasa likod niyan,” said Alejano.