Signature drive; Comelec-NegOcc: Over 157-K signatures gathered for People’s Initiative

Posted by watchmen
January 19, 2024
Posted in HEADLINE

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Negros Occidental confirmed yesterday morning that they have received more than 157,000 signatures pushing for the People’s Initiative.

Based on data from Comelec-NegOcc, Bacolod City has the highest number of gathered signatures with 69,098.

It was followed by Sagay City (15,052 signatures), Calatrava town (11,726), Escalante City (11,458), San Carlos City (10,811), Sipalay City (10,210), Bago City (7,725), Manapla town (6,205), Silay City (5,904), Talisay City (4,927), and Murcia town (4,529).

Provincial elections officer Atty. Ian Lee Ananoria explained that the process wherein Comelec only provides certification for the signatures will be for their monitoring.

Ananoria further pointed out that the group initiating the People’s Initiative, or the proponent, is responsible for the processes involved in the mentioned documents.

On Wednesday, January 17, the Comelec central office said their local offices across 400 towns and cities nationwide have begun receiving signature sheets and forms calling for the People’s Initiative to amend the 1987 Constitution.

In a report, Comelec chairman George Garcia said they can’t determine yet how many legislative districts cover the 400 towns and cities.

“We will just receive what was submitted to us. It’s prescribed under our guidelines. We don’t have a choice but to receive them,” Garcia said.

According to Garcia, the reported number of received documents do not yet include signature sheets submitted wrongly to local Comelec offices.

The signature sheets were accompanied by a Comelec form containing a declaration of the number of signatures collected.

Under Comelec rules, local election officers will only count the signatures, but will not yet verify whether they are genuine or not, or if they represent registered voters.

Garcia said after issuing a certification of the number of signatures to the proponent and sending a copy to the Comelec clerk, the sheets will be in the custody of the local election offices until the Comelec en banc orders their verification./DGB, WDJ


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