Youth groups condemn Marcos, Duterte ‘word war’ amid cha-cha talks

“We maintain that the two rallies are not expressions of the genuine calls and struggles of the Filipino masses”


MANILA – Youth groups denounced the ongoing “word war” between the Marcoses and the Dutertes. They stressed that this is self-serving in line with plans to change the 1987 Constitution.

This week, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. led a “Bagong Pilipinas” rally at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila which called for economic reforms. Former President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, led a rally in his hometown in Davao against the proposed ‘People’s Initiative’ to change the charter.

Anakbayan Spokesperson Kate Almenzo said that Marcos leading the Bagong Pilipinas rally is proof of his support for charter change. “The rally is an obvious show of force as the regime fiercely campaigns for charter change by manufacturing the impression of genuine political will from the broad masses. It is clear to us that Marcos Jr., Romualdez, and co. are attempting to monopolize power over the government and drive the Dutertes out of the picture.”

People’s Initiative for Modernization and Reform Action (PIRMA) lead convenor Noel Oñate confirmed in a Senate hearing that they are coordinating with House Speaker Martin Romualdez, also the president’s cousin, and other lawmakers in gathering signatures.

The people’s initiative (PI) is one of the three means to amend the Constitution, upon the petition of at least 12 percent of the total number of registered voters in the country, with representation from every district of about three percent, according to Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution.

Under the planned PI, the House of Representatives and the Senate will vote as one. There are more than 300 HOR members compared to 24 members of the Senate.

A manifesto was signed by all 24 senators condemning the plan as it goes against the principle of checks and balances.

Almenzo urged the youth to stand against the two families’ antics, noting that “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

“We maintain that the two rallies are not expressions of the genuine calls and struggles of the Filipino masses. The actions of Marcos and Duterte further prove that they make decisions based on their self-interests,” Almenzo said. “The real people’s initiative lies in the democratic mass movement organized and executed by the people. It is not Marcos, Duterte or any bureaucrat that will win a new Philippines, but the collective action of the masses.” (JJE, DAA) (

Featured image from the Presidential Communications Office Facebook page

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