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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Tulfo: No bribery, coercion in Cha-cha drive

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House Deputy Majority Leader Erwin Tulfo on Saturday played down claims that efforts to amend the 1987 Constitution involved money or coercion to convince the public to affix their signatures in support of the campaign.

Tulfo, who represents the ACT-CIS party-list group, made the statement in response to Vice President Sara Duterte’s allegation of “signature-buying” in the ongoing people’s initiative effort to amend the Charter to Charter Change.

“There is no instruction from the House leadership to resort to bribery,” he said in a radio interview.

“[I was present] during two or 3three meetings, and no one said anything about bribing anybody,” he added.

Duterte on Friday claimed the signature campaign for Charter change “exploited the suffering of constituents and was a disrespect to their right to make their own decisions.”

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As this developed, the Department of Interior and Local Government warned barangay officials who participated in the signature campaign for a people’s initiative may face sanctions.

DILG Undersecretary Chito Valmocina said the department is verifying reports that some village officials were involved.

He, however, admitted that no formal complaint has been lodged so far.

“The complaint has to be in black and white. We cannot just rely on hearsay,” he said.

Barangay halls, Valmocina added, should not be used for the gathering of signatures.

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