MANILA, Philippines – Senators and Staff wore maroon armbands on Monday, January 29, to show support for the institution on war against People’s Initiative.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian stated that the maroon armband emphasizes the Senate’s commitment to maintaining the system of checks and balances within the legislative branch.
“Itong armband is a show of solidarity to the Senate and the check and balance of our system, and of course in protest to the people’s initiative,” Gatchalian said.
He added that the Proposal to Institute, one of the three methods for amending the Constitution, aims to eliminate the Senate and undermine the checks and balances in the legislative system.
“Kapag natuloy ‘tong people’s initiative, isang tao na lang ang magdedesisyon para amyendahan ang ating Konstitusyon. Hindi maganda ‘yan para sa ating lahat. So, nakikiisa tayo sa Senado,” Gatchalian said.
Senator Grace Poe urged the public on Sunday to ignore the “fake” PI and concentrate on the pressing issues that require attention.
“Isa lang naman ang solusyon dyan: tigilan nyo na itong pekeng initiative. We, in the Senate, are ready to work and focus on the things that matter and we hope the House is ready to set aside this PI and do the same,” Poe said.
The Senate said on Facebook that the armband reminded them of the Oxford crimson robes that senators wore while they were sitting as judges in an impeachment court.
The wristbands additionally “signify the Senate’s strong resolve to uphold the nation’s democratic processes and ensure that any legislation put forth will serve the best interest of Filipinos.”
Prior to the PI, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri called it “flawed and unconstitutional” and warned that it might trigger a constitutional crisis.
Not by politicians, he claimed, but “genuinely led by the people” was what constituted a real PI.
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