June 19, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Lawmaker says probe on people’s initiative backfires on senators

WITH now three hearings under their belt having proven essentially nothing, the Senate must now face the music and drop their pointless witch hunt on the people’s initiative (PI) for amending the Constitution. 

Thus, said Lanao del Sur 1st District Rep. Zia Alonto Adiong, who noted that the hearings have even backfired at those who had been wanting to cast a bad light on the PI and the House of Representatives, especially the chamber’s leader, Speaker Martin G. Romualdez.  

More importantly, Adiong said senators should focus all their time and effort in passing Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 (RBH 6) — which would facilitate economic Charter change (Cha-cha) as endorsed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. himself. 

“Naka-tatlong hearing na ang Senado dito pero hanggang ngayon, wala pa ring testigo na nagsasabing binayaran sila kapalit ng kanilang pirma. Mismong mga testigo ng mga senador ang umamin na wala silang natanggap na suhol sa prosesong ito,” Adiong said. 

“Kahit yung mga testigong tinatakot ng mga senador, naninindigan na wala silang perang ipinamigay sa pagkuha ng pirma,” added Adiong. 

“Masyadao na pong bumababa ang ating oras para maipasa ang RBH No. 6 sa itinakdang deadline ng Senado na Marso ngayong taon. Is the Senate willing to embarrass President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. with it’s hard-headed approach on constitutional revision? Sagutin na lang nila ito para magkaalaman na, tama na ang mapanakit at matutulis na pahayag,” he said. 

As for the allegations that some Filipinos were forced to sign their signature sheets or were promised something in return, Adiong said that the best recourse is to let the Commission on Elections (Comelec) perform their job. 

“The Senate should now stop the investigation and allow the Comelec to do its work. The Comelec is the proper agency to investigate if there is anomaly in the process of signature gathering. The poll agency is mandated to verify the signatures, as prescribed in the Constitution itself,” said Adiong. 

He said that just like with the elections, it is the Comelec who will decide whether the signature campaign for the PI was irregular or not. This means that ultimately, the senators are conducting a wild goose chase with their investigation. 

“Hindi naman ibig sabihin na kung may irregularity sa ilang lugar, invalidated na agad ang buong eleksyon. Kaya nga po may proseso tayong sinusunod at walang kinalaman ang Kongreso sa prosesong ito,” Adiong noted. 

He also said that the process of retracting the signatures shouldn’t be politicized. 

“Sa pagbawi ng mga pirma, sana lang ay gawin ito nang kusang-loob ng mga mamamayan at hindi dahil tinakot o binayaran sila. Igalang natin ang buong proseso at hayaan ang malayang kapasyahan ng mga mamamayan,” Adiong said. (