The People’s Initiative for Modernization and Reform Action (PIRMA) on Tuesday said they did not bribe people to sign their Charter change (Cha-cha) petition.
“Wala pong ganoon (There is no such thing). We don’t bribe the people in siding with PIRMA,” PIRMA legal counsel Atty. Dezery Perlez told Super Radio dzBB in an interview.
“We just talk to them, tanungin kung ano ang problema nila, kung ano ang gusto nilang pagbabago sa Konstitusyon. Wala hong bayaran na nangyayari,” she added.
(We just talk to them, asking what their problems are, and what they want to change in the Constitution. Signatures were not being bought.)
Lawmakers earlier said they received reports cash was being offered in communities if they signed the people’s initiative petition for Cha-cha.
In a Quezon City Urban Poor Coordinating Council (QCPCC) video, a woman on January 6 allegedly offered Barangay Old Capitol Site residents P2,000 to sign the petition.
Some of the residents accepted the money, while others rejected it.
PIRMA recently started airing a TV ad questioning the 1987 Constitution and calling for changes to its provisions.
According to Perlez, PIRMA’s funds came from the donations of private individuals and groups. She said PIRMA did not use directly or indirectly any money from public funds and lawmakers.
She said they would release the list of their donors once available.
In March 2023, the House of Representatives passed Resolution of Both Houses No. 6, which calls for a constitutional convention (con-con) to amend the 1987 Constitution.
Meanwhile, Senators Migz Zubiri, Loren Legarda, and Sonny Angara filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 in the Senate.
On Tuesday, Senator Imee Marcos reiterated that her brother, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., had long said he was not in favor of amending the 1987 Constitution.
She said the President believed that Charter change might just be a waste of time and it might distract the administration from solving the real problems of the country.
“Ayaw talaga niya dahil abalang abala siya sa pagbangon ng ekonomiya. Sabi niya hirap na hirap pa rin ang tao, ang taas pa rin ng bilihin, mahirap pa ring makahanap ng maayos na trabaho, bakit natin papasukan ‘yan? Baka maubos lang ang panahon,” said Sen. Marcos.
(He was against it because he was focused on the economy’s recovery. He lamented that there was still such an effort when people were still struggling, prices were still high, and it was still difficult to find a good job. It might just waste our time.)
House deputy minority leader and ACT Teachers party-list representative France Castro called for a probe into the Cha-cha signature campaign. — DVM, GMA Integrated News