Año: Charter reform, not armed struggle, will bring about change

February 25, 2020
Eduardo Año
Eduardo Año

ON the 34th EDSA People Power Anniversary, DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año reminded communist terrorist groups (CTGs) and their supporters that constitutional reform is what’s needed to bring about change in our country, instead of violence and armed struggle.

Año said that the causes being fought for by CTGs are “outdated, obsolete, and counterproductive to nation-building and development.”

“Hindi terorismo, pagdanak ng dugo at pambibiktima sa kapwa Pilipino ang paraan upang magkaroon ng reporma sa lipunan,” he said on Tuesday.

The DILG Chief pointed out that the people’s adoption of the 1987 Constitution was the key to bringing about genuine change in the country during the 80s.

Año said that communist rebels have no other way but to come to terms with the government and work with it for peace and development.

Nonetheless, he said that more than three decades have passed since the adoption of the 1987 Constitution and the times now call for amendments of some of its provisions to enshrine necessary economic and political reforms.

“The spirit of EDSA lives on. The revolution continues. It may not be in the form of millions of people demonstrating on EDSA but through the proposed amendments to the fundamental law of the land to adapt with the current environment and serve as an antidote to contemporary social ills and viruses,” he said.

Regional equality

According to DILG Spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan E. Malaya, the DILG through the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Constitutional Reform, is proposing the amendment of the 1987 Constitution to include “equality provisions” as a solution to the gap between rich and poor regions of the country.

“Dapat nating bigyan ng ngipin ang batas laban sa korapsyon nang maitaguyod ang mabuting pamamahala o good governance sa local government units (LGUs) at makahabol ang mga rehiyon at mamamayang napag-iiwanan sa kaunlaran,” Malaya said.

“We should always remember that the Constitution should be a living constitution that adjusts to the times and that’s exactly why there is a section in it dedicated to amendments or revisions,” he said.

Malaya said that the constitutional reform being sought by the government is meant to benefit the citizens and not any political party or individuals. The DILG, he said, is continuously conducting provincial roadshows to promote public awareness on the constitutional reform advocacy.

Part of the on-going revolution, he said, is the administration’s institutionalization of the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace. Executive Order (EO) No. 70, series of 2018 created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

EO 70 reframed and refocused the government policy for achieving inclusive and sustainable peace by recognizing that insurgencies, internal disturbances and tensions, armed conflicts and threats are not only military and security concerns, but are symptomatic of broader social, economic, and historical problems such as poverty, historical injustice, social inequity, and lack of inclusivity.