Villanueva on people’s initiative: ‘Nilinlang kayo’ | Inquirer News

Villanueva on people’s initiative: ‘Nilinlang kayo’

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 12:41 AM January 27, 2024

Majority Leader Joel Villanueva

FILE PHOTO: Majority Leader Joel Villanueva delivers a privilege speech to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the First Philippine Republic which is celebrated today, January 23, 2024. (Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Joel Villanueva on Friday cautioned the public that the current “people’s initiative” is merely deceiving people to amend the 1987 Constitution for the benefit of certain individuals in positions of power.

Villanueva, who labeled the initiative as a “fake initiative,” declared this after once again raising doubts about the legitimacy of the initiative.


Numerous issues surround the signature drive, including allegations of bribery and connections to leaders of the House of Representatives.


READ: Villanueva says he has proof House behind ‘fake people’s initiative’

“Hindi po ito survival ng Senado, hindi po, hindi po. Wala hong kinalaman doon dahil uulitin ko yung sinabi ko sa plenaryo. Kung ‘yung people’s initiative ay hindi peke, kagaya ng iniikot nila. Kung ito ay totoo na people’s initiative kahit buwagin pa ang Senado,” said Villanueva in a press conference.

(This is not about the survival of the Senate, no, not at all. It has nothing to do with that because I will reiterate what I said in the plenary. If the people’s initiative is not fake, unlike what they are circulating. If this is a genuine people’s initiative, even if the Senate is dissolved.)

“Ito po ang dapat maintindihan ng taumbayan, nililinlang kayo, inaabuso kayo, ginagamit ang inyong pangalan. At ito po ang pinakamasakit, gagawin na nila kung ano ang gusto nila dahil wala nang checks and balance,” he added.

(This is what the public needs to understand: you are being deceived, taken advantage of, and your name is being exploited. And the most painful part is that they will do whatever they want because there are no more checks and balances.)

All of this developed after a supposed “people’s initiative” started collecting signatures to propose amending the 1987 Constitution, however, concerns arose regarding signatories being bribed to support the initiative.

READ: Senate, House clash over people’s initiative for Charter change

The Senate said the initiative also proposes the Congress to vote jointly on revising the 1987 Constitution, which Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri previously said would “destroy the delicate balance on which our hard-won democracy rests” and will “destabilize the principle of bicameralism and our system of checks and balances.”


According to Villanueva, the initiative’s objective goes beyond amending the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution, as evidenced by the House of Representatives — who, many lawmakers including Villanueva suspect are the main drivers of — overlooking the Senate’s concerns regarding it..

“Ang iintindihin ng iba ay papaano lalawig ang termino, paano lalaki pa ang kapangyarihan, paano ‘yung kapangyarihan [nila] ay hindi na kailangan i-check ng Senado, hindi na kailangang batikusin,” said Villanueva.

(What others are concerned about is how to extend the term, how to increase power, and how their power no longer needs to be checked by the Senate, no longer needs criticism.)

“Oh kapag negosyante ka gusto namin ang negosyo mo kukunin na lang namin. Okay ba sa inyo yun mga negosyante?” he added.

(If you’re a business owner, we want your business; we’ll just take it. Is that okay with you, business owners?)

Senate will never surrender

Amid the growing tensions between the Congress’ two chambers, Villanueva assured the public that the Senate will “never surrender.”

“The Senate will never surrender, we keep on fighting. Because history dictates the Senate is the last bastion of democracy,” said Villanueva.

“We will do our job. We will defend our institution, we will defend the rights of the people, we will defend those who voted for your senators,” he added.

He emphasized that Senators were entrusted to represent the public on a national level, which strengthens them to work for the best interests of the public.

“Kaya po ang mga hindi pa nagigising sa katotohanan, kaawaan po sana kayo ng inyong mga mahal sa buhay at kaawaan sana kayo kapag hinusgahan kayo ng ating kasaysayan,” said Villanueva.

(So, for those who have not yet awakened to the truth, may your loved ones have mercy on you, and may you find compassion when history judges you.)

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For the House of Representatives’ part, Speaker Martin Romualdez repeatedly denied being involved or ever issuing a directive to start a people’s initiative in a bid to amend the 1987 Constitution.

TAGS: People's Initiative, Villanueva

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