Fishers score Marcos’ Cha-cha stance as ‘sellout’ of Filipinos

Fishers score Marcos’ Cha-cha stance as ‘sellout’ of Filipinos

/ 05:42 AM February 11, 2024

Fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Saturday criticized President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for supporting moves to amend economic provisions in the Constitution.

Pamalakaya said Mr. Marcos’ new stance was a “sellout of natural resources to foreign interests at the expense of national patrimony” and the country’s mamrginalized sectors, like fisherfolk and farmers.

“Charter change (Cha-cha) would further allow the foreign plunder of our land and sea resources because the foreign ownership restrictions provided by the Constitution will be removed,” the group said in a statement.


Even with such ownership restrictions in place, the government cannot even protect Filipinos’ economic rights in their own country, what more with the removal of the provisions, the group said.


“Even without the Cha-cha, there have been reported Chinese corporations directly involved in several reclamation projects in Manila Bay,” said Fernando Hicap, national chairperson of Pamalakaya.

Already under siege

Hicap was referring to the 22 reclamation projects in Manila Bay that were allowed by the Department of Environment and Resources to operate despite opposition from local fisherfolk who complain about decreasing catches due to the projects taking up a large portion of the fishing grounds.

One of the reclamation projects in the bay involved the Chinese entity, China Communications Construction Co., which started as far back as January 2022.

The group added that even under current laws, the fishing sector is already one of the most vulnerable to foreign control since it’s always been a target for direct investment by overseas companies.

Hicap added: “Additionally, Chinese aggressors are already plundering our seas even though the dangerous amendments in the Constitution are not yet in place. What more if the remaining and only constitutional defense of our patrimony and sovereignty would be removed?”

READ: Chacha out of the woodwork again despite past failure, lack of people’s trust


Hicap made the remarks after retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, described Cha-cha as a “dance to hell or the grave” and lead to even worse problems for the country.

“Our problems are not due to the restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution. They cannot be solved by removing these restrictive economic provisions and completely leaving to Congress the future under the clause ‘unless otherwise provided by law,’” the jurist told senators.

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TAGS: fishers, Pamalakaya

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