Negros Comelec stops accepting people’s initiative signatures, too

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City stopped accepting signatures in support of a people’s initiative (PI) to amend the 1987 Constitution on Monday, January 29.

Negros Occidental Provincial Election Supervisor Ian Lee Ananoria said the PI signature sheets with 248,398 signatures that they already received will be preserved and sealed pending instructions from the Comelec head office.

Comelec Chairperson George Garcia on Monday announced that they decided to indefinitely stop accepting signatures as they want to review the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) first.

“The Commission en banc came up with a unanimous decision to suspend any and all proceedings concerning the People’s Initiative. We will suspend all processes, even the local Comelec’s acceptance of signature sheets,” he said.

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said “They are reviewing the IRR but I doubt if Comelec can deny the 12 percent signatures that were gathered.”

“What do they do throw them away, they can’t do that. Either they accept and comply with their mandate or find a violation of the process. They cannot just set it aside, they have a mandate to uphold,” Benitez said.

He said the collection of the signatures was fast because the people are willing to change the structure of government.

Changes in the economic provisions are needed for the country to move forward, Benitez said.

Meanwhile, he does not see any valid reason for Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte to call for the resignation of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Benitez said.*

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