Pimentel: Abandon the People’s Initiative campaign
Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III issued a challenge to the House of Representatives – to urge their fellow members to call for the abandonment of the people’s initiative aimed at amending the Constitution.
In a radio interview on Tuesday, Pimentel urged those behind the initiative to “abandon ship” and not proceed further with the process.
In Bukidnon, reports indicate that signatures for the people’s initiative were collected in the Second District.
“Sana manggaling sa kanila ang panawagan na ‘abandon ship’”. Itigil na kung anoman ang napag-usapan natin sa ibaba diyan, sa mga leaders o followers nila or mga people’s organizations. Itigil na ang pangangalap ng pirma,” Pimentel said in a radio interview on Tuesday.
(I hope that the call to ‘abandon ship’ will come from them. Let’s put a stop to whatever has been discussed down there, among their leaders or followers or people’s organizations. Put an end to the gathering of signatures.)
Pimentel said that all reports pointed to the leadership of the House of Representatives as the instigators behind the so-called people’s initiative.
“Ang ebidensya in the sense na umabot sa ‘min na report ay sila ang nasa likod. Magandang sabihin nila: sa lahat ng nakausap namin tungkol sa people’s initiative, abandon ship na. Huwag nang ituloy kung anuman ang instruction na naibigay namin sa inyo,” Pimentel said.
(The evidence, in the sense that the report that reached us suggests that they are behind it. It would be good for them to say to everyone they’ve talked to about the people’s initiative: ‘abandon ship’ now. Do not continue whatever instructions we’ve given you.)
Pimentel said the key issue is whether the initiative truly represents the will of the people or if it has become a tool for politicians to advance their own agendas.
“Kung involved ang pulitiko sa isang people’s initiative, nabubura na yung linya kung kaninong inisyatibo ito, kung sa taumbayan ba o sa pulitiko,” Pimentel added.
In the same radio interview, Pimentel said that the Commission on Election (Comelec) was correct in suspending all proceedings related to the people’s initiative, citing the lack of a legal basis for such actions by the poll body. However, he cautioned the public to remain vigilant, as the Comelec could lift the suspension as well.