Senate of the Philippines

Lawmaker: With no one withdrawing PI signatures, Senate should drop probe

Kaycee Valmonte

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Lawmaker: With no one withdrawing PI signatures, Senate should drop probe
Comelec has yet to receive reports from their offices regarding signature withdrawals as of February 20

MANILA, Philippines – With no one coming forward to withdraw their signatures on people’s initiative forms, a House member urged the Senate to drop the probe on the public petition.

“I could be wrong pero wala pa pong nahanap na witness that would particularly support the allegations against PI. Naglabas na tayo ng withdrawal forms and wala pa rin nagwi-withdraw. I think by now, some people would know ‘yung decision po nila kung gusto o ayaw nila sa PI,” 1-RIDER Representative Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez said in a press conference on Tuesday, February 20.

(I could be wrong but they have yet to find a witness that would particularly support the allegations against PI. We’ve also put out withdrawal forms and no one is withdrawing their signatures. I think by now, some people would have a firm decision on whether or not they want to be part of the PI.)

The public petition asks both houses of Congress to vote on charter amendments jointly, which the Senate fears as they would be outnumbered by the over 300 votes of House lawmakers.

Gutierrez said that while they respect the autonomy of the Senate, the inquiry has had “far-reaching effects” becoming more prevalent, among them the growing rift between lawmakers from both houses of Congress who have been engaged in a word war in the past weeks.

After Senator Ronald dela Rosa noted that some individuals wanted to withdraw their signatures, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) released a withdrawal form for those who wish to remove their signatures from the public petition.

Page, Text, Document
WITHDRAWAL FORM. The Commission on Elections released forms for individuals who wish the remove their signatures from the People’s Initiative forms circulated in January 2024. The forms can be availed of via their Offices of Election Officers across the country.

The Comelec on Tuesday also said they have yet to receive reports from their offices regarding signature withdrawals.

“Comelec’s acceptance of withdrawal forms is for recording purposes only and shall not be construed as formal action by the Commission on the signature sheets or petition for people’s initiative,” the poll body said on February 15.

Comelec has temporarily suspended all proceedings related to the people’s initiative, which essentially meant that they stopped accepting signature forms pending a review of the rules surrounding the process.

House members have repeatedly called on their colleagues in the upper chamber to put their investigation on hold since the Comelec’s decision essentially put the people’s initiative up in the air. So far, the Senate has had three hearings on the PI where both Speaker Martin Romualdez and PBA partylist workers have been linked to the signature drive.

With the PI investigation and hearings on the Resolution of Both Houses No. (RBH) 6, which details the proposed economic amendments to the Constitution, happening simultaneously, House lawmakers are urging their counterparts to focus on the latter instead.

“If we can work – RBH6 on their part and RBH7 on our part – this would now be the focus. I don’t think there’s any more reason for either chamber of Congress to be up in arms about PI,” Gutierrez said. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Loading
Download the Rappler App!