Senator Alan joins Senate in nixing ‘People’s Initiative’

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has joined the entire Senate in expressing their stand against the ongoing “People’s Initiative” that is seeking to collect signatures to push Congress to amend the 1987 Constitution.

“We are one with the Senate in opposing the ongoing People’s Initiative that may diminish the power of the Senate as a collective body,” Cayetano said.

In a strongly-worded statement signed by all 24 senators and read aloud by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri during the session on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, the Senate said the country must “guard against any sinister and underhanded attempt to change the Constitution by exploiting our democratic process under the guise of people’s initiative.”

The statement follows reports of documents being circulated nationwide seeking to gather enough signatures to allow the House and the Senate to vote as one when a motion to form a constituent assembly is called.

This means the House of Representatives, which has more than 300 members, can force Charter change because it easily outnumbers the 24-member Senate.

“It is ridiculous that the Senate, a co-equal chamber of the House, necessary to pass even local bills, will have a dispensable and diluted role in Charter Change – the most monumental act of policymaking concerning the highest law in the land,” the Senate statement said.

The statement also pointed out that the Senate would be “powerless to stop even the most radical proposals,” referring to the protection of Philippine lands from foreign ownership and the removal of term limits or even “a no election scenario in 2025, or worse, in 2028.”

Expressing support for the Senate statement, Cayetano said timing is important in amending the Constitution, emphasizing the need to approach every decision in this regard with caution.


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