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Big US Corporations Visit the Philippines to Push for Changes in Constitution

Posted on 05 February 2013 by admin

News Release
February 5, 2013
Reference: Jessica Antonio, Secretary General, BAYAN USA
“The US-PS and US corporate lobbying efforts to revive Cha-Cha (Charter change) in order to revise the Philippine Constitution is part of a much larger scheme to secure the Philippines becoming a part of the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade deal. They want hand over the Philippines’ natural wealth and resources to foreign corporation free of charge!” said BAYAN USA’s chairperson Bernadette Ellorin in reaction to the recent US-PH meetings held in Manila this week.

Background Check
The United States-Philippines Society (US-PS) is exactly as it sounds–integrating  US corporations deeply into Philippine society. It is a group composed of major business heads from Citigroup, Chevron, Coca Cola, General Electric, JP Morgan Chase and Procter & Gamble, that intend to transform Philippine society by implanting US corporations into the Philippine economy and essentially taking control of the industries and production without any actual benefit to the long-term development of the Philippine economy.

The US-PS Board of Directors is comprised of business elite both from the U.S. and the Philippines, as well as notorious international architects of state repression and counter-insurgency.  US-PS co-chairman and former US Ambassador to the Philippines John D. Negroponte was involved in  many of the CIA’s  “special operations” since the 1960’s in Vietnam, the Philippines, Central America, Africa, and more recently in Iraq. These covert operations funded by the US government enforced repressive tactics such as torture, kidnapping, rape, arming and training death squads to quell dissent in countries with liberation movements as well as assist in the installment of US puppet regimes.

Another name that rings with corruption and fraud is Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, who sits as an “honorary chair” on the Board. His role in the 2008 financial crash and economic catastrophe came during his time as chief of American International Group (AIG) in which he inflated AIG’s loss reserves by $500 million through fraudulent reinsurance transactions.  Another publicized fraud investigation by New York attorney general in 2005 forced Greenberg out of AIG, however he still remains as chairman and CEO of another billion dollar insurance company, Starr International.

Philippine Constitution at Stake
In its most recent visit, the US-PS delegation inserted itself into internal Philippine politics by lobbying to lift limitations on foreign ownership, currently capped at 40% for key industries, within the Philippine Constitution. House speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. welcomed American businessmen’s support for the amendment, claiming “Cha-Cha” would be aimed at sustaining the country’s long-term economic growth.  However, further liberalization of the Philippine economy would be a move backwards in the steps towards the development of national industries and infrastructure.

“Now, they want Cha-Cha to lift the remaining restrictions on foreign ownership of our lands, utilities and other vital sectors that will certainly further destroy the economy and further impoverish our people,” pointed out Renato Reyes, Secretary General of BAYAN Philippines.

The increased pressure to alter the Philippine Constitution is due to the continuous rounds of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), currently between 11 countries -United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada and Mexico.  The Philippines cannot join the TPP while there is a cap on the percentage of foreign ownership and a bar on key industries, specifically because the TPP is set out to increase US export business by exploiting the land and natural resources in these countries and taking control of the local economic markets.

BAYAN USA and BAYAN Philippines are keeping a close watch on the development of the TPP negotiations as well as the Philippine government’s move towards Cha-Cha. The United States with the US-PS group are pulling the puppet-strings of the Philippine government to ensure the pathway for the Philippines to join the TPP is clear, while the Filipino people continue to visibly express their outrage at the push for Cha-Cha.  Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also tried to push for cha-cha in 2008, but due to its unpopularity with the majority of people in the Philippines she did not succeed. President Aquino should uphold the Philippine Constitution and instead push for genuine national industrialization and land reform in order for the Philippines to be a self-sustaining country, free from foreign control.

“Filipinos all over the world are becoming aware of this scheme, and will not stand silently watching the Philippines be raped and pillaged by the TPP!” states Ellorin. ###

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