MANILA, Philippines – The popular initiative to amend the 1987 Constitution is practically frozen as the rules and regulations implementing such campaigns have been shelved, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda assured senators on Monday.
Salceda said during a press briefing on Monday that the Senate should no longer feel that a “sword of Damocles” hangs over them as Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 10650 discussing rules on PI has been suspended.
“In fact, I think we are filing the IP, this should be made clear to them, because this is the president's instruction. What do you call it? Cryogenics, we would only bring him back to life when necessary,” he said.
“So, effectively, the 10650 filing is actually a PI filing. So I think it's enough for the Senate to make sure that there is no Sword of Damocles hanging over them, and that's why although there are disagreements regarding the urgency or the deadlines, but at least you know that we can now have the poison in a atmosphere no longer exists,” he added.
Salceda said that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s directive is also to let the Senate do its work in relation to proposed amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution – which will be followed.
He, however, maintained that the popular initiative is just “frozen”, but not yet dead.
“Effectively, the President's instruction is to let the Senate do its work in the RBH (Resolution of Both Chambers No. 6), and then the Chamber essentially, because that is the implication of Resolution No. 10,650, when the – not that I'm giving reasons – but 10650 (it's archived), so by what rules and regulations can we do IP? There are no more rules governing the IP, the IRR has been archived,” said Salceda.
“So that is the implication of the President’s speech and that is also the implication of the filing of 10650 by the Comelec. Again, let me repeat, by what rule will signatures be collected when the rules are overridden? So, effectively, there is no IP, for now. So it’s in a cryogenic state – not in a cemetery, ha,” he noted.