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Senators praise Comelec for suspending people’s initiative proceedings

By: Charie Abarca - | January 29,2024 - 08:46 PM

people's initiative

Sen. Risa Hontiveros

MANILA, Philippines —  Senators rejoiced at the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to suspend all proceedings related to a people’s initiative aimed at amending the 1987 Constitution, saying that it is nothing but a victory for the Filipino people.

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, in a statement, said the Philippine government has finally addressed the feelings of Filipinos.

“Sa wakas! Tagumpay po ito ng sambayanan! Tumugon ang pamahalaan sa totoong damdamin ng taumbayan. Hindi pa po tapos ang laban, patuloy po tayong manalangin at magbantay para siguruhing maprotektahan ang Konstitusyon na siyang kaluluwa ng ating bayan,” Villanueva said.

(Finally! This is a victory for the people! The government responded to the true feelings of the people. The fight is not over yet, let’s continue to pray and be vigilant to ensure that the Constitution, which is the soul of our people, is protected.)

Deputy Majority Leader JV Ejercito also welcomed Comelec’s decision, saying this could protect the Filipinos from sinister attempts to overthrow Philippine democracy.

“Glad to know that there are still many government officials who are sensible, who respect our Constitution and who will defend our democracy in the face of sinister attempts to subvert it,” said Ejercito.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said he is glad that the Comelec has finally listened to Filipinos.

“This move is Comelec’s acknowledgement of limitations of its authority. I repeat, the Comelec has no authority under the law to formulate guidelines on people’s initiative, even to accept signatures,” said Pimentel.

Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe said Comelec has taken the correct path. Poe specifically emphasized that the so-called people’s initiative drive “started on the wrong foot.”

“What we have before us is ‘pekeng initiative’ or fake initiative pushed by politicians and allegedly greased by money to deceive the public to support Cha-cha,” said Poe in a statement.

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros, on the other hand, warned against complacency despite Comelec’s decision. She stressed the importance of monitoring the Comelec every step of the way.

“Babantayan natin ang Comelec every step of the way. Sa dulo, ako ay naninindigan na ang panukala on the table ay isang revision at hindi amendment, kaya kahit paano pa pabalibaliktarin, this sham House of Representatives-led initiative should be buried,” she emphasized.

(We will monitor the Comelec every step of the way. In the end, I maintain that the proposal on the table is a revision and not an amendment, so no matter how you loom at it, this sham House of Representatives-led initiative should be buried.)


Comelec suspends proceedings for people’s initiative to amend Charter

Salceda says Comelec can’t just stop people’s initiative unilaterally

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TAGS: charter change, Joel Villanueva, JV Ejercito, people's initiative

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