The Senate electoral reforms and people’s participation committee on Tuesday moved to subpoena a certain Anthony Abad who is allegedly behind the signature campaign for Charter change (Cha-cha).
During the Senate panel’s inquiry into the alleged payoffs in the controversial signature campaign, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa made the motion to issue a subpoena against Abad, noting that the latter is the “face of this brouhaha.”
“He should present himself. Otherwise, useless ang inquiry,” Dela Rosa said.
The motion was eventually approved by committee chairperson Senator Imee Marcos.
“I think motions were received. Certainly, we have resolved to send a subpoena to said Anthony Abad,” Marcos said.
“Although, I think, information was sent to this committee that he has flown overseas,” she disclosed.
The signature campaign supposedly led by Abad specifically asks voters if they are in favor of amending Article 17 Section 1 of the Constitution by allowing all members of Congress to jointly vote on proposed constitutional amendments.
This amendment is a departure to the existing provision which does not explicitly state whether the House of Representatives and the Senate should vote jointly or separately on proposed amendments to the Charter via constituent assembly.
The efforts to amend the Constitution via people’s initiative has become controversial after several lawmakers disclosed that the public were allegedly bribed or promised with government aids in exchange for their signatures.
The senators slammed these efforts, which they believed was supported by the House of Representatives, particularly Speaker Martin Romualdez.
The Senate unanimously released a manifesto against the present people’s initiative efforts, saying the House is out to abolish the Senate given that the document for signature asks voters if they are in favor of amending the Charter to allow members of Congress to jointly vote on the amendments, a setup which would consider the vote of 24 senators and more than 300 House members.
On Monday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) ordered the suspension of all proceedings related to people’s initiative.—AOL, GMA Integrated News
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