Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte condemns the cash-for-signature allegedly being circulated by several individuals in Davao City to solicit signatures calling for Charter change.
In a Facebook post on Friday, January 19, 2024, Duterte expressed her dismay over the scheme and described it as a reflection of politicians' hobby of buying votes, especially during the election.
“Ito ay pagsasamantala sa kahirapan ng ating mga mamamayan at kawalan ng respeto sa kanilang karapatan na magdesisyon nang malaya, walang takot, o impluwensya gamit ang salapi (This is an exploitation of the poor citizens in our community and a disrespect to their right to decide freely, without fear, or even the influence of money),” Duterte wrote in the post.
She reminded all Filipinos not to exchange their signatures since the consequences would affect their lives, freedom, and future.
She further stressed that the continuous thrust for Charter change despite the situation of the Philippines is a testament to the failure to identify the root cause of the problems of Filipinos.
Duterte emphasized that as a Mindanaoan, she is more worried about the recent travel advisory that was raised by Canada over some parts of the country allegedly for increasing incidents of terrorism, armed encounters, and kidnapping.
She then urged everyone to prioritize the welfare of Filipinos.
“Unahin muna natin ang Pilipinas. Ingatan po natin ang ating Saligang Batas (Let us first prioritize the Philippines. Let us take good care of our Constitution),” Sara said.
Last January 19, residents of Calinan District conducted a protest and voiced their opposition to the disguised People’s Initiative for Charter change. The protesters gathered at Rizal Park in San Pedro Street and chanted “Dabawenyos are not for sale,” holding tarpaulins and flaglets with the same message.
Previously, Congressmen Paolo “Pulong” Duterte and Isidro Ungab declared their opposition to the alleged people's initiative for Charter change, claiming that the Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist leaders were behind the signature drive.
As of writing, PBA representative Margarita “Atty. Migs” Nograles has yet to release a statement on the matter. RGP