Pimentel: Comelec may face raps for taking Cha-cha signatures

Pimentel: Comelec may face raps for accepting Charter change signatures

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 09:10 AM January 24, 2024

Koko Pimentel says Comelec)  may face complaints for accepting signatures from a people’s initiative for Cha-cha.

FILE PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel says on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, that the Commission on Elections (Comelec)  may face complaints for accepting signatures from a people’s initiative for the amendment of the 1987 Constitution or Charter change (Cha-cha). (Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — For Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, he sees a “justiciable controversy” to file cases against the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for receiving signatures from a people’s initiative (PI) to amend the 1987 Constitution.

Pimentel said the cases may be filed before the Comelec or Supreme Court.


“Yes, cases ‘directed’ at Comelec for receiving signatures from an unknown entity and then executing ‘its ministerial duty’ of counting signatures,” Pimentel said in a text message on Wednesday when asked to clarify remarks he made on the Senate floor on Tuesday.


“Why do they even have this ministerial duty? They don’t even know who they owe this alleged duty to. And for what purpose?” added Pimentel, a lawyer.

READ: Comelec: Over 900 cities, towns submit people’s initiative signature pages

Asked again where the cases could be lodged, the senator said, “The  Comelec itself to ask them to stop what they are doing and/or the Supreme Court to prohibit Comelec from continuing to do what they have been doing under their justification of ‘a ministerial duty’.”

Pimentel first aired such an opinion after the Senate released a manifesto against the PI on Tuesday, January 23. All 24 senators signed the manifesto.

READ: Senate manifesto nixes people’s initiative, warns of no-el scenario


On the Senate floor, the minority leader said a “justiciable controversy” emerges for the Senate to act against the Comelec.

“We can act politically by calling on the people not to sign and for those who have signed to withdraw their signatures,” he said. “We can act legally in the sense of filing cases to already question what the Comelec is doing.”

“What is your business receiving all these papers with signatures at sinasabi nila they have ministerial role to play as of the moment. Based on what? On  a  law already characterized by the Supreme Court as insufficient to support a PI?” Pimentel asked.

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Senate  President Juan Miguel Zubiri, presiding over Tuesday’s session, responded positively to Pimentel’s remarks.

“We’ll be filing this together,” Zubiri said.

TAGS: 1987 Constitution, Comelec, Koko Pimentel, People's Initiative, signatures

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