FORMER President Rodrigo R. Duterte strongly opposes the disguised People’s Initiative for Charter change, condemning the cash-for-signature campaign as "repugnant" and a "disgraceful act" in a YouTube interview with Banateros Brothers on January 22, 2024.
"Hindi ako pabor, mas mabuti pang hintuin nila (I am against it, might as well they stop it),” he said.
He emphasized his disapproval, urging a halt to the initiative, particularly criticizing the payment of individuals to sign the documents.
Duterte warned that such actions could lead to a new Constitution that might "destroy the nation" and open avenues for political abuses.
He underscored the importance of democracy in the Philippines, asserting that those wanting to remain in power should go through the electoral process. He emphasized that a well-performing and non-corrupt individual would retain power, while those with poor performance would be ousted through the cleansing process of elections.
Expressing satisfaction with the current Constitution, Duterte argued that it has contributed to stability, reducing conflicts with groups like the New People's Army (NPA).
He strongly advised against meddling with the Constitution, cautioning that it would only bring trouble to the country.
“We’re okay, wala tayong problema [we do not have any problem]... sa ngayon wala talaga [for now we do not have any of it],” he said.
Duterte pledged active opposition to the initiative, stating that he would campaign against it.
Notably, residents of Calinan District, Vice President Sara Duterte, and Representatives Isidro Ungab and Paolo "Pulong" Duterte have also voiced opposition to the People's Initiative for Charter Change.
Margarita "Atty. Migs" Nograles, the representative of the Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist, alleged to have started the cha-cha signature campaign, has yet to issue an official statement on the matter as of the latest update. RGP