Pirma behind Cha-cha signature drive non-existent for 20 years

Pirma behind Cha-cha signature drive non-existent for 20 years, senators learn

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 11:48 AM February 13, 2024

pi people's initiative signature witnesses constitutional commission akbayan comelec

PEOPLE’S INITIATIVE / JANUARY 29, 2024 The ‘People Initiative’ signature sheets which were submitted earlier this month at the Commission on Elections office in Arroceros, Manila prior to the suspension of all the proceedings related to the people’s initiative. INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA,  Philippines — The group behind the latest people’s initiative (PI) for Charter change (Cha-cha) has been inexistent for 20 years now.

This was revealed at the resumption of the Senate committee on electoral reforms’ hearing on corruption allegations against the signature drive initiated by the People’s Initiative for Reform Modernization and Action (Pirma).


“We’re given to understand that in fact Pirma no longer exists as Feb 10, 2004? Is that correct?” panel head, Senator Imee Marcos, asked during the hearing on Tuesday.


Atty. Katrina Miranda, a representative from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), confirmed that Pirma’s certificate of registration has been revoked since February 10, 2004.

Since its registration on March 12, 1977, Pirma did not submit any reportorial requirements to the SEC, Miranda said.

“What we only have are their articles of incorporation and bylaws that they submitted at the time of their incorporation,” Miranda said.

But one of Pirma’s lawyers, Alex Avisado,  claimed they have already started the process of updating the group’s  information with the SEC.

“May we inform the committee that we made submissions in the online portal of SEC updating the email, and the contact persons. And after that we’re expecting a reply…” Avisado said.

But one of Pirma’s lawyers, Alex Avisado, claimed they already made submissions in the online portal of SEC to update the groups’s information.


When Marcos asked when, the lawyer said: “Just this February.”

“You’re going to update the website of a corporation that has not been in existence for 20 years? Wala na ito, multo na ito. Wala ng Pirma, 20 anyos na. Ano pang pagpipilitan natin dito?” the senator said.

(You’re going to update the website of a corporation that has not been in existence for 20 years? It’s gone, it’s already a ghost. There is no Pirma for 20 years now. What else are we trying to insist on here?)

Avisado explained the group plans to file a petition for reinstatement after it complies with the requirements sand the payments of penalties.

But the SEC said the proper process is for Pirma to file first a petition to lift their order of revocation.

When Avisado insisted that they need to first update the information of the group with the SEC, Sen. Marcos warned  Pirma might face more trouble.

“You should be warned, huwag mong tututuruan ang SEC ng trabaho nila baka mas ma-trouble tayo nito. Baka ilibing na yang Pirma na yan. Patay na nga, lilibing pa,” said the senator.

(You should be warned, don’t try to teach the SEC how to do their job, it might cause more trouble for us. Pirma might as well be buried. It’s already dead, let’s not bury it again.)

“Ah hindi po. Never my intention, Madam chair,” Avisado said.

“Naghihintay nga ho kami, nakikiusap kami, naghihintay kami na hopefully  mapagbigyan at mabigyan  kami ng assessment of  the penalties which would allow us  once we pay, which would allow us  to file a petition for reinstatement.”

(No, Madam Chair. Never my intention. We are waiting, pleading, hoping to be granted an assessment of the penalties, which would allow us, once we pay, to file a petition for reinstatement.)

Even Senator Nancy Binay was puzzled as to why the group initiated the signature drive when its own papers with the SEC were not yet updated.

“Ang tanong, if Pirma does not exist, it does not exist dahil revoked na sya by the SEC so sino yung entity na nag initiate nitong people’s initiative?” Binay asked.

(The question is, if Pirma does not exist because it has been revoked by the SEC, then who is the entity that initiated this people’s initiative?)

At this point, Avisado admitted that they already knew that Pirma’s registration was already cancelled and that it would take time before they could file a petition for reinstatement.

When they checked the rules, however, he said, they learned that only one registered voter is needed to file for a people’s initiative.

“And we’re hoping by that time we filed the petition baka nga umabot kami dun sa part na makapagbayad na kami ng…”  Avisado said but he was interrupted by Marcos.

(And we’re hoping that by the time we filed the petition, we might even reach the part where we can pay…”)

E di sana hindi na ninyo ginamit yung Pirma, yung mga individual names na lang ang nilatag, people naman ito , basta may tao dun nakapirma ayos na yun. Bakit pa kinaladkad yung Pirma? Bakit ginamit-gamit pa itong kalansay na korporasyon na patay na?”

(Then you should not have used Pirma. You could have just used individual names; these are people, anyway. As long as there’s a person who signed, that should be sufficient. Why drag Pirma into it? Why continue to use this skeleton corporation that is already dead?)

Avisado claimed Pirma is the advocacy of its lead convenor Noel Oñate.

“Di ba last minute lang? Di ba nakaladkad lang ito ng last minute para may mukha, para may pangalan?” Marcos went on.

(Wasn’t this just done last minute? Wasn’t this dragged in at the last minute just to have a face, just to have a name?)

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Avisado maintained they were not rushing the  signature drive as insinuated by the senator.

TAGS: Cha-cha, People's Initiative

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