211,741 SIGN FOR CHA-CHA | Comelec-Negros Occidental awaits formal petition for charter change

211,741 SIGN FOR CHA-CHA | Comelec-Negros Occidental awaits formal petition for charter change

The Negros Occidental provincial office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office is still waiting for a formal petition for charter change so that they will know what to do next with the signatures submitted for People's Initiative.

"We have not yet verified their signatures, so it's premature for me to say their signature," said Provincial Comelec Supervisor Atty. Ian Lee Ananoria said Tuesday, January 23.

He added, “Once they file a petition for Charter Change with the en banc, we will be ordered to verify the signatures they submitted. As of now, we don't have anything to do with their signature campaign until a petition has been filed.”

He said if there is a move to withdraw the said signatures, "it is their prerogative if they withdraw it."

Ananoria made the reaction amid the initiative of a Bacolod City-based lawyer to spearhead a petition for those who want to withdraw their signatures for charter change.

As of January 23, a total of 211,741 signatures from 16 local governments in Negros Occidental have been submitted to the provincial Comelec office.

Of the 31 towns and cities in the province, the local governments that have not yet submitted signatures are Don Salvador Benedicto, Toboso, Cadiz City, Pulupandan, San Enrique  Valladolid, Binalbagan, Himamaylan City, Hinigaran and Isabela.

Lawyer Cesar Beloria Jr. is spearheading an initiative to collect the signatures of those who want to withdraw their signatures.

Beloria said the move is in response to the call of Comelec chairman George Garcia, who earlier said that people who had signed a petition for a people's initiative to amend the 1987 Constitution could still withdraw their signatures if they did not fully understand the significance of the planned charter change.*


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