Home NATIONWIDE Cha-cha sa pamamagitan ng people’s initiative bill itinulak sa Senado

Cha-cha sa pamamagitan ng people’s initiative bill itinulak sa Senado

MANILA, Philippines- Isang panukalang batas ang inihain sa Senado bilang enabling law sa pamamagitan ng people’s initiative (PI), kung saan maparurusahan din ang sinumang gumagamit o nangangako ng pera kapalit ng lagda tulad ng pekeng PI na isinulong ni House Speaker Martin Romualdez.

Sinabi ni Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III na kanyang inihain ang panukalang Senate Bill 2595 o ang People’s Initiative and Referendum Act of 2024 kapalit ng Republic Act 6735.

Naisabatas ang RA 6735 noong 1994 pero idineklang “inadequate” ng Supreme Court na sakupin ang sistema ng inisyatiba sa pag-amyenda sa Saligang Batas at nabigong magbigay ng sapat na pamantayan para kasunod na batas para sa Commission on Elections, ayon kay Pimentel.

“As a measure to not only fill in the gaps found in RA No. 6735 but to also update the system of people’s initiative and referendum to reflect the present-day political conditions, it is proper that this bill be introduced as a new measure, rather than an amendment to the existing law,” ayon kay Pimentel sa kanyang explanatory note.

Sa ilalim ng SB 2595, maaaaring magsulong ng people’s initiatives ang sinumang registered voter o grupo ng botante sa pamamagitan ng paghahain ng beripikadong petisyon sa Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Ang anumang petisyon na naglalayong amyendahan ang Saligang Batas ay dapat magkakaroon ng mga sumusunod alinsunod sa panukala:

  • “Complete name, address, and personal circumstances of the proponents, to be called the petitioners

  • Complete text of the proposed amendment to the Constitution

  • Reasons

  • Signature sheets signed by at least 12 percent of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least 3 percent of the registered voters therein

  • Starting date when the signatures were collected”

Dapat ding nakapaloob sa petisyon ang mga sumusunod:

  • “The signature sheets attached to the petition contain the complete text of the proposed amendment to the Constitution

  • The proposed amendment was explained to the signatories in a language or dialect known to them before their signatures were affixed

  • The reasons for the proposed amendment to each signatory were thoroughly explained before signing it

  • The petition was filed within 18 months from the date the signature was affixed

  • That no money or anything of value was given, offered, or promised to be given to procure signatures

  • That no funds were received from those disqualified to contribute for purposes of partisan political activity under the Omnibus Election Code and other election laws”

Inaatasan ng panukala ang Comelec na tukuyin kung may sapat na form and substance ang petisyon at beripikahin ang bilang ng lagda at authenticity sa loob ng 90 araw.

Maaaring idulog ang desisyon ng Comelec sa Supreme Court sa pamamagitan ng isang special civil action for certiorari.

Itatakda ang plebisito ng Comelec na hindi bababa sa 60 araw at hindi lalampas ng 90 araw pagkatapos ng “certification of the sufficiency of the petition.”

“Prior to the date of the plebiscite, the Comelec shall publish the complete text of the proposed amendment to the Constitution once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general nationwide circulation,” ayon sa panukala.

Sinabi pa ni Pimentel na: “The amendment to the constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite.”

“SB 2595 likewise prohibits a petition proposing a revision of the Constitution. The bill defines revision as a change or alteration of the Constitution which changes the basic constitutional structure or which affects the functioning of various parts of agencies within the constitutional structure,” paliwanag ng senador.

Nakatakda din ang isang probisyon sa panukala: “Any person who gives, offers, or promises money or anything of value, any office or employment, franchise or grant, whether in public or private, to induce anyone to sign the petition may face six to nine years of jail time.”

“If it is committed by a public officer, a jail time of nine to 12 years shall be meted. All his benefits will be forfeited and he will be perpetually disqualified from holding public office,” wika ni Pimentel.

“Six to nine years imprisonment will likewise be slapped on any person who directly or indirectly uses public funds or money held in trust by public financing institutions or by government offices, and government publication arms for any signature campaign for PI,” dagdag ng panukala.

“Any public officer who directly or indirectly solicits signatures in support of a petition to push for PI will also face nine to 12 years in jail,” pagtatapos nito. Ernie Reyes

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