Drilon: Senate minority bloc to challenge ‘no-el’ by PI before SC
The minority bloc in the Senate will question before the Supreme Court (SC) any efforts to scrap the 2019 elections through a people’s initiative (PI).
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said this on Wednesday as he rejected Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s statement that the people, through the PI or a referendum, could change the scheduled date of elections next year.
Once the election is postponed, Alvarez said Congress would have more time to deliberate and pass the draft federal Constitution.
But Drilon, a former Justice Secretary, thumbed down the Speaker’s proposal.
“Hindi po pwepwede ang people’s initiative. Bakit? Ito po’y revision of the Constitution. Dahil sa Constitution, nakalagay kung ano ang termino ng bawat opisyal,” he said in an interview at the Senate on Wednesday.
“Sa akin po, kung baguhin mo ang termino ng mga opisyal, itoy po’y sinasabi nating revision of the Constitution at hindi po pwede through a people’s initiative.”
“Yun pong people’s initiative ay para ang lamang sa minor amendments sa Constitution. Ito po, ang pagpalit ng termino ng mga opisyales, sa akin po ay major amendment which which can’t be done thru a people’s initiative,” the Minority Leader pointed out.
And if the Speaker would insist on scrapping the 2019 polls through a PI, Drilon said the minority would then question it before the High Tribunal.
“Dadahin po natin sa Korte Supreme at ki-question-in natin kung ang people’s initiative ba ay pwedeng paraan na gamitin para sa pagbabago ng termino ng ating mga opisyal,” he said.
With these efforts to scrap the 2019 elections, Drilon said he has become more convinced that the Charter change move was only aimed at extending the terms of those elected. /muf