Tell it to SunStar: End the political witch hunt

Tell it to SunStar
Tell it to SunStarSunStar file photo

By Alfredo Garbin Jr.

The eight million voters who already signed the People’s Initiative (PI) petition demand that their voices be heard and be given due process. Their numbers are increasing. All of the allegations were already debunked!

I now implore the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to lift immediately the suspension on the receipt and processing of the PI. I ask them to respect the inherent and constitutional right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution. I hope that the Comelec listens to the people.

Three weeks have passed since the Senate inquiry on the alleged buying of signatures began, and already over a month since the misguided exposé of Rep. Edcel Lagman. What have they uncovered? Nothing.

The Senate inquiry seeks to bring forward supposed irregularities or “corrupt activities” in the manner of obtaining the voter’s support and signatures for the PI. The Senate invited several resource persons from the grassroots to ask whether or not there was money or promise of ayuda given like AICS, Akap or Tupad.

The responses of the resource persons were a resounding “WALA”! Not satisfied with the answers, the Senate also invited and grilled the officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development to admit whether their programs were used in the signature campaign, to which the Senate also received the same kind of response.

Therefore, all indicators point to the validity and legitimacy of the PI to amend the Constitution. All point to the fact that the people at the grass root level willingly and voluntarily signed the signature sheet with a desire to amend the 1987 Constitution.

The Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation, chaired by Sen. Imee Marcos, fails to appreciate this simple fact. The very individuals whom the committee handpicked and accepted as resource persons to aid their inquiry all replied that there was none. There was no payout, no promises, no deception!

The question of whether there were “corrupt activities” involved was already answered, even though the answer they received was not the answer the Committee wanted. Their purpose was already achieved, calling for the conclusion of the proceedings.

Thus, there is now a need to terminate this political witch hunt. I firmly believe that in continuing the public hearings, the committee will achieve nothing more in aid of legislation other than use it as a public stage for grandstanding, vilification and self-aggrandizement. A waste of time, in my opinion.

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