Anti-People’s Initiative Campaign: Diversity in Action

  • El Shaddai is opposed to Charter change.
  • The CBCP is against a government-sponsored People’s Initiative. The biggest Catholic educational institutions are also against it. The Businessmen-Bishops Conference is also against Charter change.
  • 21 out of 23 senators signed a resolution declaring the People’s Initiative of Sigaw ng Bayan as illegal.
  • A Regional Trial Court in Roxas City issued a temporary restraining order against the verification of signatures by the Comelec. Petitions are also pending in RTCs in different provinces.
  • Various legal groups have embarked on their own court battles to fight SnB’s PI.
  • Former senators are also preparing to launch their own anti-Charter change campaign.
  • A broad coalition composed of groups identified with the Right, Left, and Center agreed to put up a united front against the SnB/ULAP/DILG-sponsored People’s Initiative.

SnB’s People’s Initiative: Allies of the Administration

  1. Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) led by Special Envoy Donald Dee
  2. Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry led by Francis Chua
  3. Trade Union Congress of the Philippines led by Atty. Democrito Mendoza
  4. Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches led by Bishop Efraim Tendero
  5. Union of Local Authorites of the Philippines led by Governor Enrico Aumentado
  6. League of Cities led by City Mayor Jerry Trenas
    League of Municipalities led by Mayor Ramon Guico
    League of Vice Mayors
    League of Councilors
    League of Barangay Councils

Critical factors: (in any order)

1) Supreme Court decision
2) Avalanche of TROs
3) Survey ratings of PGMA/Charter Change
4) Onset of Election Fever (-ber Months)
5) Heightened interest in impeachment trial (i.e. credible witnesses, concrete evidence, new information, etc.)

The stakes?

Anti-Charter change : constitutional stability; PGMA until 2010 wih same powers; momentum for 2007 polls (for those with political ambitions) and presidential elections in 2010; Bill of Rights to remain as is, ditto with other provisions; impeachment still possible; opposition has the chance to work closely with middle forces.

Pro-People’s Initiative : recognition as authors of Interim Parliament; PGMA’s term becomes open to extension or abbreviation; lifting of term limits for LGUs, congressmen/women; abolition of the Senate; open slot for Prime Minister; no impeachment this year; SnB stalwarts assured of political appointments; a clean slate (hopefully) for the administration.

So which side will unravel first? And which side will win the hearts and minds of our people?