In Cotabato City:

Launching the alliance against the ConAss and ChaCha

through People's MARCH


Notre Dame Universiity


July 8, 2009




■   Atras Con-Ass in Davao City

■   Rep. Satur Ocampo at PUP




About a thousand participants coming from the academe, human rights groups, religious institutions, civil society groups, local officials, militant Moro and youth organizations joined the forum and witnessed the formal launching of alliance vs the ConAss and ChaCha which comprised of at least 18 groups and individuals.


Photos courtesy of ZA/Cotabatenos vs ChaCha


News Release
08, 2009

Cotabatenos lambast ConAss; slam Arroyo’s charter change

Cotabato City- Cotabatenos have already signified their defiance on Charter change (CHACHA). An alliance against move for ChaCha through People’s MARCH was launched here yesterday in a Multisectoral Forum in Notre Dame University- the lone university in the city.

About a thousand of participants coming from sectors of academe, human rights group, religious institutions, civil society group, local officials, militant Moro and youth organizations joined the forum and witnessed the formal launching of alliance which comprised of at least 18 groups and individuals.

Rep. Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna Partylist, the resource speaker of the forum, delivered his analysis and standpoint on the said issue. The militant solon who
debated the passage of HR 1109 which would convene a senate-less Constituent Assembly or ConAss , said the Filipino people will not benefit on the proposed
charter change.

Ocampo stressed some critical points that people should consider to resist charter change. He pointed out some proposed amendments to obliterate nationalist provision especially on economic restrictions which does not allow 100% foreign ownership on lands, mining, shippings and education among others.

”It’s a total sell-out of national patrimony and sovereignty if we’ll let this to happen. It’s the future of the next generation which is at stake” Ocampo emphasized before his major audience- the youth. He added that national election on 2010 must be exercise first and debates on charter change can be entertain under a new administration saying it’s untimely and would-not-credible under Arroyo administration.

People’s MARCH convenor Pstr. Orlando Zambrano of United Methodist Church expressed his dismay regarding the obvious agenda of the side of what he call, Arroyo’s minions in lower congress which is to prolong the term of the president.

“Her allies primarily working out to change the present presidential to parliamentary form of government through ChaCha, which is the only way for her to escape lawsuits and prosecution of corruption and plunder charges. Another term in favor of Arroyo as a president of this country would mean another burden to Filipino people.” Pstr. Zambrano said.

As for the incessant bombing incidents in Mindanao; in a media conference today, Rep. Ocampo strongly condemned the carnage of innocent civilians and urged the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation so that justice will be serve to victims of blasts in Sulu, Iligan and Cotabato City.

“ No one will benefit this terroristic activities but those who hold in power”, said Ocampo stressing that those incidents would only create an objective condition for Arroyo to justify the possible lift of martial law.###



Atras Con-Ass in Davao City



Partylist representatives Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza and Teddy Casiño wave to Davao City residents during the "Atras Con-Ass" motorcade around the city. The three partylist representatives earlier launched a petition signing campaign right in the district of House Speaker Prospero Nograles calling on him and other congressmen to abandon all attempts to convene Congress into a constituent assembly when the Lower House resumes sessions later this month. (Photo by CJ Despuez)




Rep. Satur Ocampo at PUP



27 June 2009

Cotabato folks resist Con-Ass; convene People’s MARCH

COTABATO CITY – People of Cotabato City has now took a stand – No to Charter Change. This is the declaration of the convenors during the alliance formation of People’s Movement Against Charter Change (People’s MARCH)–Cotabato City Formation on June 16 here.

The People’s MARCH, an alliance composes of 17 organizations and individuals from church, academe, students, Moro and civil society groups, vowed to oppose the Malacanang-backed passage of Congress’ House Resolution 1109 on June 2 which seeks to convene the Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) paving way for the amendments of 1987 Philippine Constitution.

Sr.Genevieve Damaso, OND a convenor of People’s MARCH, said, “This government had never lost reasons to fool the Filipino people and defy law just to push propositions beneficial for their own selfish interests. They went into such lengths to resurrect Charter Change solely to protect political ambitions of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.”

Pres. Arroyo’s term expires next year. Under the present Constitution, the president is not allowed to run for reelection.

Sr. Damaso added that there are more pressing issues and problems that Filipino people are facing and

should be addressed rather than putting into priority any moves on amending the constitution. “This is certainly a self-serving on part of GMA”.

The Con-Ass was arranged and agreed by 174 Arroyo allies in the Lower House led by Davao City first district representative, House Speaker Prospero Nograles. Maguindanao second district representative Simeon Datumanong also voted for the passage of the resolution with thoughts not of the poor plight of Internally Displaced Persons in Maguindanao but of the 20-million peso payoff, as promised by Arroyo.

Moreover, convenor Sammy Maulana of Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS), said that “the constitutional amendments not only allow Arroyo to stay in power beyond 2010 but it will also allow 100% foreign ownership of vital state assets and natural resources.”

“The people especially the Bangsamoro will continue to suffer landlessness, hunger and deprivation of social services. This is already the scenario in Maguindanao. With Arroyo’s political self-interest and the economic self-interest of foreign capital, the Bangsamoro people will forever be dreaming of reclaiming their ancestral domain,” Maulana said.

Pastor Orlando Zambrano of United Methodist Church here, also a convenor, calls all sectors to stand together and oppose House Resolution 1109 and the Charter Change citing “this is the most righteous act a Christian and Muslim should do – dissenting Arroyo and its allies’ barefaced display of thirst of power and self-interest.”

The People’s MARCH will wage continuous campaign in the city to show its concerted effort to defend integrity, national sovereignty and dignity as a people against tyranny and further plunder.

On June 30, the alliance will conduct an interfaith prayer rally at the City Plaza followed by a big multi-sectoral forum on charter change and launching of Peoples March Cotabato on the seventh of July. ##


People’s MARCH- Cotabato City Unity Statement

We, the people’s movement against charter change or people’s march, express our strong opposition to House Resolution 1109, which would convene the House of Representatives into a constituent assembly (Con-Ass), and any move to amend the constitution perpetrated by the politicians who currently hold power.

The Filipino people cannot entrust the future of this country in the hands of those who profess to be selfless leaders while instigating or deliberately acting as complicit in massive graft and corruption, human rights violations and the sellout of our sovereignty.

A switch to a parliamentary form of government is not the key to solving any of the problems the country is facing. The problem does not primarily lie in the form of government or in the constitution. It is in the kind of leaders running this country.

We condemn the incessant attempts of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her minions to press on with charter change despite the public’s disagreement. Their greed and lust for power are truly appalling.

We believe that charter change is nothing but a ruse to keep President Arroyo in power and to advance the interests of the elites, foreign capitalists and the unscrupulous politicians.
We also believe that President Arroyo, fearing for her and her family’s prosecution for their involvement in corruption charges, human rights violations and other crimes against the Filipino people, is exhausting all means to remain in power.

We vow to stir the minds of the people to the true agenda of charter change and its would-be consequence to the lives of Filipinos. We vow to mount pressure against charter change. We vow to resist the money, power and influence of those advancing cha-cha.

We will not allow a despot and her cohorts to continue to plunder our coffers, trample on the sanctity of human rights and give up our vital resources to foreigners.

We call on everyone to take a stand and join us in resisting cha-cha. Now is not the time for apathy. We cannot afford to be fence sitters when the good of the country and our fate as a nation are at stake.