Metro Manila, Philippines— Some 400 cities and towns nationwide have already received as of Wednesday signed forms seeking amendments to the 1987 Constitution under a people’s initiative, the Commision on Elections (Comelec) said.
“Actually po hindi lang po sa Mandaue…Ngayong araw na ito, apat na daan na siyudad at munisipyo sa buong bansa ang nakatanggap na ng mga signature forms at signature pages,” Comelec Chairman George Garcia told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Ngayon.
[Translation: Actually po, not just in Mandaue…As of this day, 400 cities and municipalities in the country have already received the signature forms and signature pages.
He said the Comelec is currently trying to classify the submitted forms according to district.
“Dahil premature po at this point eh, [kung ‘yan] ay kabilang sa isang distrito o ilang distrito,” he said. “Iyan po ay inaalam pa po namin ngayon.”
[Translation: Because it is still premature at this point, we’re still checking the classification of its district or districts.]
In an ambush interview earlier Wednesday, Garcia said they have received signatures from Cordillera in the north to the Bangsamoro in the south.
After receiving the petitions, the local Comelec will verify the sufficiency in “form and substance” and if each signature is qualified to be counted as a vote, Garcia added. The Comelec will then issue a certification to the proponent and will submit it to the Clerk of Court, who will then issue a recommendation to the Comelec en banc.
“Pag-uusapan ng en banc kung i-adopt or reject ang recommendation ng clerk of court,” he added
[Translation: The en banc will discuss if it will adopt or reject the recommendation of the clerk of the court.]
The poll chief also told Newsroom Ngayon that there were some signatures of unregistered voters, which will automatically be barred from Comelec’s counting.
Among the unqualified signatures are those which have been forged, proven to have been bought or signed by force.
Under Republic Act No. 6735 or the “The Initiative and Referendum Act,” at least 12% of all the registered voters must sign the petition to amend the Constitution. At least 3% of registered voters in each legislative district must be represented in the petition.
CNN Philippines correspondent Paige Javier contributed to this story.