”Let Comelec do their job.”
This was the response of President Ferdinand ”Bongbong” Marcos Jr. when asked for his thoughts on the people’s initiative in line with the calls to amend the 1987 Constitution.
According to Marcos, he already talked to concerned officials regarding speculations that people are being paid to sign the forms in the people’s initiative.
He firmly believed that the poll body would not accept the signatures if people were indeed paid or promised with benefits.
”Well, pagka binayaran ‘yung signature, hindi tatanggapin ng Comelec ‘yun. So walang magandang mangyayari,” Marcos said.
[Well, if the signatures being gathered are paid, the Comelec won’t accept it. So nothing will come out of it.]
”So, ang pagkakaalam ko hindi naman, wala namang ganoon. Ang sinasabi hindi bayaran ng cash, kundi nangangako ng kung anu-anong benefits. It’s—tinitignan namin, sabi ko, “itinanong ko sa ‘kwan, sa ating legislation, totoo ba ‘yan?” he added.
”Hindi naman nagbago yung mga release namin, constant pa rin. So, sabi ko, the other things to…para hindi tayo pagdudahan, i-stop muna natin ‘yung mga pagrelease ng mga benepisyo. Hindi naman maganda rin ‘yun kasi may nangangailangan talaga. So, we just have to let Comelec do their job, do their work and to validate the signatures. And if there’s suspicion na may ganoon nga ay hindi talaga mabibilang ang mga signature na ‘yun,” he added.
So far, the poll body said at least 884 cities and municipalities have received several pages of signatures for the people’s initiative to amend the 1987 Constitution.
As stated in the 1987 Constitution, amendments can be directly proposed by the people “through initiative upon a petition of at least 12% of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least 3% of the registered voters therein, a mode called people’s initiative.”
Once the number of required signatures are met, proponents of the said people’s initiative will have to file their petition with the Comelec. The poll body will scrutinize and verify the signatures.
If the Comelec is able to verify that the signatures are authentic, it will schedule a national plebiscite or referendum where the people will vote on the petitioners’ proposed constitutional amendments.
— RSJ, GMA Integrated News
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