Don't 'hijack' Cha-cha signature drive, Koko Pimentel tells House

Don’t ‘hijack’ Cha-cha signature drive, Koko Pimentel urges House

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 11:42 AM January 25, 2024

The House of Representatives should not “hijack” the people’s initiative (PI) for Charter change (Cha-cha), opposition Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel said Thursday.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III speaks during one of the Senate hearings in this file photo taken on January 18, 2024. Senate PRIB file photo / Voltaire F. Domingo

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives should not “hijack” the people’s initiative (PI) for Charter change (Cha-cha), opposition Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel said Thursday.

Pimentel repeated persistent reports supposedly pointing to House members behind the PI, one of the three modes of amending the  1987 Constitution.


The two other methods are via constitutional convention (con-con) and constituent assembly (con-ass).


The senator denounced the alleged involvement of House members as an “abuse” and “mistaken use” of PI, noting that the latter can push anyway for Cha-cha through the con-ass.

“So kung may brilliant ideas ang mga members of the House of Representatives kung paano i-amend ang Constitution, ang paraan para sa kanila is yung No. 2 mode which is the constituent assembly,” Pimentel said over ABS-CBN News Channel’s “Headstart.”

(So if the members of the House of Representatives have brilliant ideas on how to amend the Constitution, the method for them is the No. 2 mode, which is the constituent assembly.)

“Huwag nilang i-hijack yung  third mode na people’s initiative. Para sa taumbayan, hindi yun pantago ng agenda,” he said.

(They should not hijack the third mode, the People’s Initiative. That’s for the people. That is not a tool to conceal an agenda.)


The hidden agenda, he said, is to give the House more power to change the Constitution.

A proposal for Congress to vote jointly is allegedly part of the PI, which, according to senators, would render the 24-member Senate powerless as they could be outvoted easily by more than 300 House members.

“In effect, ang nakatagong   agenda dun  ibigay na natin sa House of Representatives ang kapangyarihan na  baguhin ang ating Constitution,” Pimentel pointed out.

(In effect, the hidden agenda is to give the House of Representatives the power to change our Constitution.)

“Step 1  lang po yan, dinaan sa  people’s initiative kasi self-interest yan e, self-aggrandizement— yung binibigyan mo ng kapangyarihan ang sarili mo. So tinago po yun, hindi pwedeng manggaling  sa House of Representatives. Sabi nila, padaanin natin sa  people’s initiative,” he added.

(That’s just Step 1. It was done through the People’s Initiative because of self-interest, self-aggrandizement—giving oneself power. So, they concealed that because it couldn’t come directly from the House of Representatives. They said, let’s do it through the People’s Initiative.)

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Another danger, he said,  is that any amendments to the Constitution could now come from a small group, or worse, from only one person if this joint voting proposal succeeds.

Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has already denied the House’s involvement in the PI while recognizing the people’s will to propose constitutional changes.

TAGS: Cha-cha, charter change, Koko Pimentel, Senate

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