March against the Cha-Cha and the Con-Ass


Contingent from Taft Avenue


June 30, 2009


Click here for march from QC Rotonda to Liwasan Bonifacio



National Artist Prof. Bien Lumbera and former UP Dean Coni Paz Manila Mayhor Alfredo Lim

Photos courtesy of CONTEND-UP


National Union of Students of the Philippines [NUSP]
National Office Office of the Student Regent, Vinzon’s Hall, UP Diliman, QC Telephone 9818500 loc. 4511 or 4512

June 27, 2009
ALVIN PETERS, National President, 09206209362
VANESSA FAYE BOLIBOL, Chairperson NUSP NCR Chapter, 09293614592
BUGSY NOLASCO, Media Liaison Officer, 09064549475

NUSP Metro Manila student leaders congress makes a stand against charter change

The National Union of Students of the Philippine’s Metro Manila student leaders congress today registered a strong opposition to administration-backed charter change.

The congress was attended by student council leaders from the University of the Philippines Diliman and Manila, De La Salle University Manila, De La Salle Araneta University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Lyceum of the Philippines University, St. Paul University Manila, Trinity University of Asia, St. Scholastica’s College Manila, Far Eastern University, Philippine Normal University, City of Malabon University and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.

NUSP NCR Chairperson Vanessa Faye Bolibol said that a “moderate” assault to charter change won’t suffice. The challenge she says is to “consolidate our ranks” and launch “massive, creative and forceful mass actions” that would manifest the general dissent of the youth and the people against cha-cha.

The congress was highlighted by a symbolic action wherein student leaders, with invited speakers Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino and Representative Ruffy Biazon, signed a magnified anti-cha-cha petition, committing themselves to the campaign.

As a major convenor of Kabataan Kontra Cha-cha, a broad alliance of youth groups and student councils against President Arroyo’s charter change, NUSP challenged the student councils to further contribute to the anti-cha-cha campaign by launching mass protests in their respective schools, in addition to mobilizing their fellow youth to bigger actions.

The student leaders congress passed a resolution to join the next broad anti-cha-cha protest set on June 30, 2009.

Dr. Lumbera and Dr. Paz with UP Faculty Regent Dr. Judy Taguiwalo (2nd from right)
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim  


Media Statement

21 June 2009
Reference: Clemente Bautista Jr. National Coordinator, Kalikasan-PNE 09228449787

Why Environmentalists Oppose Charter Change:
Cha-Cha to accelerate foreign control and plunder of our natural resources

The European Union’s (EU) demand to allow foreign ownership of our land and resources is just a validation of the influence of foreign states and corporations on the Arroyo administration to push for charter change. And Pres. Arroyo has proven herself more than willing to give in to the foreigners' demands while advancing her own self-interest.

It is historically evident that powerful nations like EU and United States (US) will exhaust all means just to ensure that their economic control over other countries will continue. They have their puppets and local partners to help remove the legal restrictions that keep foreigners from getting what they want: further cheap raw materials, docile labor, and market for their surplus products.

The US for one, has been most active in meddling in our politics and economy. Under the auspice of the US government, the 1935 Philippine Constitution clearly stipulated “the property rights of the United States and the Philippines shall be promptly adjusted and settled, and all existing property rights of citizens or corporations of the United States shall be acknowledged, respected, and safeguarded to the same extent as property rights of the Philippines.”

When the titular Philippine independence was granted in 1946, the US government passed the Bell Trade Act, which required the revision of the Philippine Constitution to grant US citizens and corporations equal access and control to Philippine minerals, forests and other natural resources.

Just more than a decade ago, the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, which was primarily sponsored by then senator and now president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, was passed. This legalized the 100% foreign ownership of our mineral lands. Foreign corporations are allowed to control and exploit 81,000 hectares of our land for 50 years. Not contented, the Act also grants foreign mining corporations timber and water rights for them to exploit forest and water resources inside their mining concessions.

As seen in our history and remains to be true until now, the biggest exploiters and beneficiaries of our lands and natural resources are foreign transnational corporations.

Agricultural giants DOLE and Del Monte have the largest agricultural plantations in the country. The biggest mining projects and operations are owned by British, Australian, Canadian, Chinese, Koreans and Japanese mining corporations. Our oil and gas resources are also owned by foreigners, such as the control of UK Royal Dutch Shell and US Chevron in the multibillion-dollar Malampaya natural gas project in Palawan.

Case in point is the recent news of a UK-based company being given 400,000 hectares of land for coconut plantation to supply biofuel to Japan while majority of Filipinos live in dire poverty without even a parcel of land to till. How one company is given land the size of a province to plant a commodity that is to be exported and not be of direct benefit to the millions of Filipinos in need of food and subsistence is the ultimate expression of foreign control.

In addition to it being a common and historic practice in the country, foreign ownership of our lands, facilities, businesses are already allowed in the Constitution. The current initiatives to amend the constitution through constituent assembly aims to further expand these rights and privileges to foreign corporations and will surely accelerate plunder of our natural resources and patrimony.

These pro-foreigner proposals and legislations are being mouthed by President Arroyo’s top honchos in Congress, particularly House Speaker Prospero Nograles and her son Rep. Mikey Arroyo. These salesmen are openly pitching for amending the Constitution to allow foreign ownership of our lands through a resolution. They want the Filipinos to believe that enticing foreign investors will lead to economic progress and benefit the nation.

Charter change is a betrayal of our patrimony and sovereignty. It is thus an obligation of every Filipino who maintains a degree of concern to our environment and country to oppose the moves of trapos (traditional politicians) in Congress and in Malacanang who present themselves as promoters of our rights and interests but are actually promoters of their class interests and of foreign entities.

National Coordinator
Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)
No.26 Matulungin St. Bgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1100
Tel. No. +63-2-9248756 Fax No. +63-2-9209099

KALIKASAN People's Network for the Environment is a network of people's organizations (POs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and environmental advocates. It believes that the struggle for the environment is a struggle of the people, thus all environmental action shall have the interest of the majority at their core.