Press Release
September 1, 2006


Following the resolution of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to junk the peoples initiative petition filed by Sigaw ng Bayan and Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) for lack of an enabling law, Senator Richard J. Gordon yesterday emphasized the urgent need for the Legislature to pass a law to provide for the implementation of this right.

The COMELEC resolution merely acknowledged the Supreme Court decision on this matter which declared that while the Constitution has recognized or granted that right [of peoples initiative], the people cannot exercise it if Congress, for whatever reason, does not provide for its implementation. Hence, we will be working very hard to provide for its implementation at the soonest possible time, said Gordon.

Gordon, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws, earlier conducted a hearing on August 29, 2006 towards passing an enabling law to provide for the implementation of the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through peoples initiative.

Aside from differentiating between amendments and revision, and the extent of amendments that can be proposed through peoples initiative, the need to safeguard the process of implementing this right to protect the peoples will called our utmost attention at this Senate hearing, stated Gordon.

Gordon stressed the importance of laying down a lawful process for the exercise of this Constitutional right to ensure that the people are not hoodwinked into proposing amendments to the Constitution that they do not want or understand. Currently, amendments to the Constitution are crafted by wily politicians that are seeking to promote their own agenda, which puts our Constitution in danger of becoming a trapo or oil-soaked rag Constitution, he added.

We will probably call another hearing to wrap up our findings and then submit a Committee Report, together with the bill for second reading, to the Senate very soon, declared Gordon.

In denying to give due course to the peoples initiative petition, Gordon also lauded the COMELEC for deciding in accordance with law and added that this builds the peoples confidence in the COMELEC Commissioners as people of integrity and the COMELEC as a democratic institution. The Supreme Court permanently enjoined COMELEC from taking cognizance of any petition for peoples initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution until a sufficient law is enacted.

News Latest News Feed