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Villanueva urges public to report alleged bribery for Cha-cha signature campaign

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Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva on Monday called on the public to report incidents of alleged bribery in the signature gathering for Charter change (Cha-cha).

The Senate leader released the statement exactly a week after Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri revealed that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. himself bucked the efforts to amend the 1987 Constitution through people’s initiative.

“Kung meron pong nagoyo, nabudol, gustong magreklamo at bawiin ang kanilang pirma, huwag po kayong matakot magsumbong. Magpadala o magpost ng video, picture o screenshot ng mga text ng panunuhol,” Villanueva said.

“Ipagbigay alam niyo rin po sa amin ang inyong pangalan, tirahan at contact details para matulungan po namin kayo na maprotektahan at maipagtanggol ang inyong karapatan,” he added.

(If there is anyone out there who was deceived to sign anything and wants to retract their supposed support, don’t be afraid to report it. Send or post a video, picture, or screenshot of texts that indicate bribery. Likewise, provide your name, address, and contact details so we can help you in protecting your rights.)

Villanueva reiterated that social aids or money should not be involved in the gathering of signatures for the people’s initiative.

“Kaya nakakabahala po ang ginagawang Peoples Initiative. Marami na po tayong narinig, nakita at nasaksihan…Hindi po dapat binibili, sinusuhulan, at sinasamantala ang ating mga kababayan. Importante po na ang tao ay mulat at nabibigyan ng tamang impormasyon. Hindi po pwede na bibigyan kayo ng ayuda o salapi para lamang pumirma,” he said.

(This is why this people’s initiative is concerning. We have heard a lot of reports. Our people should not be bought, bribed, and deceived. It is important that our people are informed. They should not be given social aid or money in exchange for their signatures.)

Earlier, Villanueva issued a strong statement calling out the people behind an alleged bribery campaign to gain signatures for Cha-cha.

This came after some lawmakers disclosed reports of people being paid P100 in exchange for their signature on a people’s initiative petition to revise the 1987 Constitution.

Last week, Zubiri said Marcos had asked the Senate to take the lead in reviewing the economic provisions of the Constitution — a request which is contrary to the Senate president’s earlier stand that Cha-cha is not a priority of the upper chamber.

Zubiri, together with the second highest officer in the chamber, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, and Senator Sonny Angara filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 6, proposing amendments to certain economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution, including reforms in the Public Services Act, education, and advertising industry by adding the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law.”

Angara will lead a subcommittee on the Committee of the Constitutional Amendments to tackle the matter. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News

Read more, click here: GMA News

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