Salceda says Comelec can't just stop people's initiative unilaterally

Salceda says Comelec can’t just stop people’s initiative unilaterally

/ 02:12 PM January 29, 2024

Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda has disagreed with the Commission on Election (Comelec) decision to stop proceedings related to the People’s Initiative (PI), saying that the poll body does not have the power to stop an act of the people unilaterally.

Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda at Kapihan sa Manila Bay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda has disagreed with the Commission on Election (Comelec) in its decision to stop the proceedings related to the people’s initiative (PI), saying that the poll body does not have the power to stop an act of the people unilaterally.

In a statement on Monday, Salceda said that while PI proponents will formally wait for the formal announcement in writing, stopping the PI goes against Comelec’s rules and regulations.


“We will have to wait for the Comelec to formally announce that in writing. That said, the Commission cannot unilaterally defeat or delay an act of the people, by simply refusing to implement the provisions of the Constitution, the law, and the rules and regulations Comelec itself issued under Resolution No 10650 s. 2020,” Salceda said.


“The provisions of the rules Comelec itself issued regarding RA 6735 is that the Election Officer will issue a certification upon receipt of signatures from petitioners. The only delay that the Comelec can do, en banc, is to withhold the order to verify gathered signatures (under Section 15 of Comelec Resolution No. 10650 s. 2020, the IRR to RA 6735),” he added.

Salceda’s statement came after the Comelec, in a press briefing on Monday noon, announced that they are stopping all proceedings related to the PI asking for constitutional amendments.

Comelec Chairperson George Garcia said that the commission has decided to suspend all PI proceedings to make way for the review and amendment of rules regarding the initiative as part of their due diligence.

According to some opposition lawmakers, the PI has been riddled with vote-buying and coercion to garner signatures for the petition.

Last December 2023, House leaders Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. floated the possibility of discussing charter change proposals anew when the session resumes in January 2024 to amend the 1987 Constitution’s economic provisions.

However, Gonzales said that they may entertain PI proposals since the Senate has failed to act on RBH No. 6 — originally a resolution of the House calling for a constitutional convention, which was passed last March 2023.


After the PI’s signature campaign gained traction in early January, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said he, Romualdez, and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. have agreed that the Senate would push for their version of RBH No. 6.

But last January 23, all 24 senators signed a manifesto against the PI, as the campaign asks that the House and the Senate vote jointly on the proposed constitutional amendments. Senators fear that if this is observed, the vote of 24 senators can easily be overturned by over 300 lawmakers in the House.

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

Several senators, including Senator Imee Marcos, also accused her cousin, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, of being behind the push for a PI. But House leaders have denied backing the PI, saying they only respect the call of the people.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Romualdez said they would support the Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6 filed by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, calling it a welcome development and a possible answer to the prayers of PI backers.

TAGS: Comelec, Joey Salceda, People's Initiative

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.