DILG denies Charter change signature drive during coronavirus pandemic

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 18 2020 10:09 AM | Updated as of May 18 2020 11:17 AM

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MANILA - Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday denied a report that it was collecting 2 million signatures in support of constitutional amendments as the country fought the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) report over the weekend said the Department of the Interior and Local Government has shifted its signature campaign online during the pandemic.

"That is fake news and I don’t want people to pay attention to that. That’s totally false and we have never done anything like that especially during this time of crisis," Año told ANC.

According to the PDI report, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, in a memorandum dated Jan. 28, said the collected signatures would be presented to Congress to show the support the agency has gathered for constitutional reform.

Malaya told PDI regional directors have been ordered to stop collecting signatures and "focus all attention on anti-COVID efforts."

Senators Franklin Drilon and Kiko Pangilinan told the DILG to focus on efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the country instead of moves to amend the Constitution, with the former saying it was a “total waste of time and resources.” 

In December, members of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments approved four proposals to change the Constitution.