Comelec: People’s initiative on ABS CBN ‘speculative’

Published July 13, 2020, 6:54 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday chose not to comment on the idea of a people’s initiative for the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN saying the matter is still “speculative.”

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez

“In as much as this matter is still largely speculative, both as to whether it will actually be carried out and as to whether it is an appropriate course of action to take in this case, the Comelec will refrain from issuing any statement on the matter,” Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said in a brief statement on July 13.

But, he said, the Comelec’s main tasks in any people’s initiative petition are to verify the gathered signatures; to determine the sufficiency of the number of signatures gathered; and if the number of signatures is sufficient, to schedule and conduct a plebiscite.

A people’s initiative allows the people to propose a legislation by coming up with the signature of at least 10 percent of voters and at least 3 percent of voters in every legislative district. 

A law professor broached the idea of a PI after the House Committee on Legislative Franchises on July 10, adopted the recommendation of its technical working group to reject the bills seeking to grant ABS CBN a new franchise in a vote of 70-11.