Required number of signatures for people’s initiative reached — Salceda

Required number of signatures for people’s initiative reached — Salceda

Senators think lowly of the people who signed, Albay solon says
/ 01:51 PM January 24, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — The 12 percent requirement for signatures petitioning a people’s initiative (PI) to amend the 1987 Constitution has been reached, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said on Wednesday.

In an interview with DZBB and reporters at the House complex, Salceda was asked about the Senate’s manifesto against the people’s initiative and some senators’ belief that the House leadership is behind this push.

In response, Salceda said it appears that senators think lowly of the public as they believe that voters can be fooled into signing without reading the contents of the signature campaign.


“As of last night, we’ve reached the 12.1 (percent) threshold; we have already reached the mandate of the people. So the Constitution should operate as provided,” Salceda said.


“Madali naman po talagang mag name-calling. Pero ‘yong 12.1 percent of the population that signed on, I think masyado namang mababa tingin sa mga taong gano’n, hindi basta-basta mapapapirma ‘yon,” he added.

(It is easy to do name-calling. But the 12.1 percent of the population have signed on; I think they (senators) think lowly of the people; they won’t sign documents unintentionally.)

Under Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution, there are three methods of amending the basic law: through a constituent assembly (con-ass), a constitutional convention (con-con), and a people’s initiative.

If the people’s initiative route is picked, there has to be a petition of at least 12 percent of the total number of registered voters, consisting of at least three percent of voters from every legislative district.

However, all 24 senators signed on Tuesday a manifesto rejecting the people’s initiative as a mode of Charter change, saying that the legislative chamber “stands as the country’s last bastion of democracy, as it rejects this brazen attempt to violate the Constitution, the country and our people.”

Also, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva revealed that several senators are no longer interested in pushing for Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6 seeking a Charter change approved by the House as early as March 2023.


Salceda then asked why senators are rejecting a people’s initiative when it’s a valid way of amending the 1987 Constitution.

The senators’ reaction came after rumors that part of the signature campaign was agreeing for Congress to vote jointly in the ratification of the proposed Constitutional amendments.

“Nando’n ‘yon eh, lahat naman — ‘yong pagsasalita nila, ‘yong pagsasalita namin, pagsalita ng tao, sino ang masusunod?  Eh lahat naman nasa Konstitusyon ‘yan, kung magsalita kami ng sabay, eh ‘di con-ass ‘yon.  Magsalita rin kami, eh ‘di con-con ‘yan,” he told DZBB.

(It’s all there — if we talk, if they talk, and if the people talk, whose will should we heed?  These are all in the Constitution: if we talk separately, that’s a con-ass.  If we talk together, that’s a con-con.)

“But the bill has been filed 358 times since 1987 […] all of them were dead on arrival when they reached the Senate […] let the Comelec validate the signatures, that’s in the Constitution, then remove the signatures which you say were from coerced individuals.  But even if you do that, we would be over 12 percent,” he added.

Salceda also urged the Senate to listen to the people for a change, as voters have listened to senators and congressmen for the longest time.

“For the first time in our lives, why don’t we listen to the people? We always listen to senators, congressmen.  Why don’t we reach the people; that’s why it was placed in the 1987 Constitution, the people’s initiative.  Then what is that for?” he said.

“Filipinos are not stupid. They think lowly of people; they won’t sign documents on a whim,” he added.

Salceda also assured that the PI campaign would still go through validation by the Commission on Elections, and a plebiscite where those against the PI can campaign against.

“First of all, it would still go through validation. Second, we would still have a plebiscite. Why don’t you want to listen to the voice of the people? They’re free to campaign against the petition that Congress should vote jointly,” he added.

Last December, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. floated the possibility of discussing Charter change again, believing there is a need to amend the 1987 Constitution’s restrictive economic provisions and let more foreign investments enter.

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However, Gonzales said the House may hear people’s initiative petitions, as the Senate has not acted on RBH No. 6 for months.

TAGS: Cha-cha, People's Initiative, Salceda, Senate

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