Palace: Long process before initiative vs pork system is achieved

Posted at 08/24/14 2:44 PM

MANILA - Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the end goal of the People’s Initiative will not be easy to achieve.

In an interview with radio dzRB, she said the public is free to start initiatives to scrap the pork system in government.

“We are guided by pertinent laws, meron po niyan sa Constitution, at meron din po sa mga iba’t ibang decided case ng Korte Suprema kung paano po ‘yung mga nagiging parameters ng isang People’s Initiative,” she said.

Nonetheless, the initiative and the possible referendum will go through a long process, she added.

“Parang six million po yata ‘yung kanilang tina-target and, of course, even if you—if that is achieved, it is the Commission on Elections that will have to check the validity of the signatures,” she added.

Article VI, Section 32 of the Constitution prescribes that: “The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, whereby the people can directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof passed by the Congress or local legislative body after the registration of a petition therefor signed by at least ten per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters thereof.”

Enabling laws also provide that the initiative must be endorsed by at least 10% of the registered voters (around 6 million) and with at least 3% of the voters in every legislative district.

The poll body will then have to verify the form and substance, in particular the six million names of the voters.

Valte said Malacanang will not comment further until the results are in.

The signature campaign kicked off Saturday, which is also in preparation for another big gathering in Luneta on Monday against the pork system.

Valte expects that Monday's event will be peaceful and orderly.

“Sigurado naman po akong nakipag-usap na ang mga kawani ng PNP (Philippine National Police) at ng MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) kung paano po ‘yung mga magiging arrangement para po doon sa lugar po bukas para naman po hindi makaabala sa daloy ng trapiko,” she said.