Advocates warn of looming dictatorship under Duterte regime

Various cause-oriented groups have warned the public on the present “self-serving and anti-people” attempts of President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies in Congress to amend the Constitution and shift to a federal form of government.

“Duterte’s pretext for his power grab – the shift to a federal system of government – is itself an abomination. It will impose an entirely new layer of bureaucracy to be feasted upon by the old and new breed of political dynasties and warlords who hunger for more positions of power,” progressive group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said in a statement.

There are presently two major proposals to amend the Constitution – the Resolution of Both Houses No. 8, a resolution filed before the House of Representatives, and the PDP Laban version, which belongs to President Duterte’s political party.

Apart from the form of government, the current proposals to amend the Constitution will also lead to the removal of so-called protectionist clauses and pave way for full foreign ownership of lands, public utilities, and even strategic enterprises, said Bayan.

Human rights group Karapatan said current moves to amend the Constitution are “dangerous proposals” that disregard if not curtail people’s rights. This, the group added, will worsen the current dire political, social, and economic conditions in the country.

Palabay vowed that the very same moves to amend the Constitution for the purpose of maintaining the status quo of the ruling elite will be met with the same resistance. (RPRD News)

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