Senate subpoenas lawyer Abad, alleged proponent of people’s initiative

Senate subpoenas lawyer Abad, alleged proponent of people’s initiative

/ 11:40 AM January 30, 2024

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Senate of the Philippines | INQUIRER FILES


MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation has summoned lawyer Anthony Abad for his alleged involvement in the signature campaign for the amendment of the Constitution.


Sen. Francis Tolentino motioned to subpoena the lawyer during the Senate’s Tuesday hearing after Sagip party-list lawmaker Rodante Marcoleta said Abad appears to be the proponent of the said initiative.


Abad’s name is allegedly written in the forms used for the signature campaign.

“Attorney Anthony Abad appears to be the proponent of this initiative. Earlier, in the House of Representatives, he was the one who was like the villain. I am not representing the House of Representatives today, I was personally invited by the chairman to appear, but as a member, you can’t fault me for being somewhat emotional about it because his taunts were against the House of Representatives, especially the speaker,” Marcoleta said, speaking partly in Filipino.

READ: New initiative push: Perilous, dangerous

“I am not defending the speaker. If this congressional hearing ultimately finds that the Speaker who spearheaded or funded this initiative, I will probably request him to step down. Pero kung hindi siya naman — bakit hindi po natin kinoncentrate kay Abad?” he emphasized.

(But if it isn’t him, why don’t we concentrate on Abad?)


Tolentino’s motion received no objections. Senators present during the inquiry that it would be beneficial to subpoena Abad to appear in the panel’s succeeding hearings on the issue.

Who is Anthony Abad?

Before Tolentino filed a motion to subpoena the lawyer, Marcoleta said Abad was an independent adviser of the Senate.

“Based on Google he specializes in international trade law. He has been in legal practice for 17 years and he is at present an independent adviser of the Philippine Senate,” Marcoleta said.

Marcoleta added that Abad took his oath before the office of Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. The opposition senator confirmed having seen a photo of the oathtaking, but he said it might have been taken years ago.

“It must have been years ago. Right now, he’s not a consultant in my office so it is necessary to summon this Attorney Abad in order for us to know. He’s not a consultant in my office. So I don’t think he’s also a consultant of the Senate,” Pimentel said.

On the other hand, the People’s Initiative for Reform Modernization and Action (Pirma said Abad was one of their volunteer lawyers and one of those who started the push for the people’s initiative.

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According to Pirma lead convenor Noel Oñate,  Abad is currently out of the country.

“The moment he arrives from our country I think he will be very much willing to face this committee,” former Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. said.

TAGS: charter change, intiutional changes, People's Initiative, Senate

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