Group denies 'buying' signatures for Cha-cha petition

Group denies ‘buying’ signatures for Cha-cha petition

/ 12:25 PM January 11, 2024

Group denies buying signatures for Cha-cha petition

Charter change (Cha-cha) mover People’s Initiative for Reform Modernization and Action (Pirma) denies allegations of buying the signatures it’s been gathering for constitutional reform. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Pro-Charter change group People’s Initiative for Reform Modernization and Action (Pirma) on Thursday denied allegations of buying the signatures it’s been gathering for constitutional reform.

Pirma National Convenor Noel Oñate said it is not true that they have been giving out P100 in exchange for a signature in their petition calling to amend the 1987 Constitution.


“Hindi totoo iyan, wala namang katotohanan iyan. Sa amount na lang, P100. Ano ba naman (ang) P100? Bakit ka naman magbibigay ng P100? Kaya wala, hindi totoo yan,” he said in an interview over at Radyo 630.


(That’s not true, that’s not true at all. For such an amount, P100. What is P100? Why would you give P100? So no, that’s not true.)

Pirma needs to collect more than 8 million signatures, equivalent to 12 percent of the country’s registered voting population, to fortify its Cha-cha petition, according to Oñate.

Such a threshold is required under Republic Act 6735 or “The Initiative for Referendum Act” to propose amendments to the 1987 Constitution through a people’s initiative.

READ: Pirma is back: Charter change drive on air, on ground

A quick calculation shows that giving out P100 per signature to over 8 million Filipinos would cost at least P800 million.


But Oñate called the bribing allegations “ridiculous.” He also explained that Pirma gets its funds strictly from the contribution of its volunteers.

“Katawa-tawa siya…ang aming source of funds ay mga contribution ng volunteers,” he scoffed.

(It’s ridiculous…our funds are sourced from volunteer contributions.)

READ: Lagman says public funds being used for Cha-cha drive

He likewise stressed that Pirma is a private group as he further denied that his group is “dangling” government cash aid in exchange for signatures.

“We are not doing anything like that…we are not using government funds. This is purely a private initiative,” he said in a mix of Filipino and English.

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Oñate’s statements stemmed from allegations that his group’s ongoing signature campaign for amending the 1987 Constitution uses money and the promise of government subsidies to convince people to sign the petition.

Oñate said they started their signature campaign three days ago and saw a positive response among Filipinos who yearn for change.

TAGS: 1987 Constitution, charter change

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