“FUNERAL MARCH” Brings Petition to the Supreme Court to Declare JPEPA Unconstitutional

Marchers Vow Political Death to Senators Who Voted for JPEPA.

Some 2,000 Magkaisa JUNK JPEPA Coalition (MJJ) members and supporters march to the Supreme Court (SC) today to file a petition for certiorari and prohibition with an application for a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction on the recent ratification of the Japan Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA)

In a severely criticized midnight session during the final day of the 14th congress last Wednesday, the Senate ratified the JPEPA accord with 16 Senators voting yes and Senators Madrigal, Pimentel, Escudero and Aquino opposing the treaty.

The group, coming from the ranks of farmers, fisher folk, workers, urban poor, nurses, greens, youth and others wore black and carried a coffin symbolizing the terminal blow to Philippine sovereignty that the lopsided JPEPA deal brings.

Senator Defensor who rallied the 15 pro-JPEPA Senators said that the side notes that have been signed between Japan and the Philippines should rectify the many violations of constitutional provisions since it has the power of amending the treaty being an integral part of the agreement.

The petitioners disagree and seek the wisdom and justice of the supreme court to rule whether JPEPA is constitutional or not. The petitioners reiterate that the Senate arbitrarily and whimsically, approved JPEPA even if they knew it was unconstitutional, badly negotiated, and prejudicial to the country and its people.

The Senate committed acts amounting to grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or in excess of jurisdiction for passing a vote of concurrence for a treaty that violates our constitutional rights to a balanced and healthful ecology, to land and seas, and the right to insist on the promotion of the preference of Filipino goods, services, and labor.

The petition also states that JPEPA unduly limits the power of Congress to pass laws that would protect sectors from harmful foreign competition. Furthermore, the petition also cites that the President also violated the constitution when she committed to eliminate tariffs on many goods even if Congress has not passed a law that gives her that power.

As the protesters march, they carried pictures of the 16 Senators who voted for JPEPA to remind the public who sold us out in favor of Japanese interests by allowing this discriminatory, unconstitutional and unfair treaty to exercise control over our many affairs.

As the 2010 election nears, the protesters vow political death blows against these Senators whom they consider have lost the moral ascendancy to govern.

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