‘Bagong Pilipinas’ rally a front for Cha-cha signature drive – Hontiveros | Inquirer News

‘Bagong Pilipinas’ rally a front for Cha-cha signature drive – Hontiveros

/ 11:42 PM January 29, 2024

Sen. Risa Hontiveros

Sen. Risa Hontiveros (File photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The “Bagong Pilipinas” rally held at Quirino Grandstand on Sunday is nothing but a front to cover up the people’s initiative to amend the Constitution, Sen. Risa Hontiveros said in a privilege speech on Monday.

Hontiveros presented proof that that event was used to help push Charter change (Cha-cha).


“The Presidential Communications Office or PCO said that it had nothing to do with pushing for the people’s initiative. With all due respect, who are you fooling?” Hontiveros, an opposition Senator, said in Filipino.


According to Hontiveros, government workers from various agencies were mobilized to attend the rally, adding that welfare services — such as Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) – were also used as a reward to force vulnerable people to attend the event.

“So it’s no wonder why so many people flocked to the Quirino Grandstand yesterday. We are being fooled if the PCO insists that it has nothing to do with Cha-cha, which is the most active issue today,” she said.

Part of the evidence that she provided included documents from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Philippine Ports Authority, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Manila city government — all calling on its employees to participate in the rally.

Hontiveros also presented a list of required documents showing the receipt of AICS benefits. She likewise maintained that payouts took place at the rally and were given to those who signed the petition or mobilized others to sign the petition.

“Again, now that the dust has settled and they have dismantled the LED screens on the stage: This is not about Bagong Pilipinas. Or the new face of the Philippines. This is not about patriotism or the love of country. Our countrymen were gathered for their signatures, which came with many souvenirs,” she said.

‘Unity no more’

Hontiveros also slammed the apparent rift between Marcoses and the Dutertes, pointing out that there was no longer unity between the camps.


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“Yesterday, the Bagong Pilipinas movement was launched at a rally at the Quirino Grandstand. Then in  Davao [City], there was a prayer rally. And now, Monday, we stand at the crossroads of history. Now that the dust has settled, we can see clearly now,” she said in Filipino.

“What is clear to all: something seems wrong. They promised us unity, but the midterm has not even come and there’s no longer a hint of unity.”

Hontiveros reminded President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. that political rivalries should not be prioritized over the needs of the people.

“Mr. President, you won [the presidency] because ordinary Filipinos are already tired of quarreling and facing off with each other. But what did you show them this Sunday? Another encounter. Another conflict. Filipinos are again being made to choose between two influential families,” she said.

Hontiveros stressed that she, along with the rest of the Filipino people, “can see through” the lies and promises of the president and those who are playing God in Davao City.

She urged the public then to speak the truth and uncover the reality.

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“It is only with truth that we strike our path amidst the smoke and mirrors. What is at stake is the future of the Philippines, not just the future of the Dutertes or the future of the president’s family,” she said.

TAGS: Bagong Pilipinas, charter change, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., People's Initiative, Risa Hontiveros, Rodrigo Duterte

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