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PIA Press Release

SC deliberates on Charter change petition

Manila (25 October) -- The Supreme Court will be discussing Wednesday the petition of Charter change advocates seeking a reversal of the Commission on Elections ruling rejecting a people's initiative to amend the Constitution.

Although Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban earlier said their special en banc session would run until Sunday and a ruling would be issued before the end of the month, a senior justice, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Inquirer that a decision could be reached within the day barring lengthy debates and deliberations.

During their special en banc session, the justices will discuss the individual concurring and dissenting opinions they submitted Monday on the draft decision of Senior Associate Justice Reynato Puno on the petition filed by Sigaw ng Bayan (Cry of the People) and Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines on a people's initiative.

If the justices agree to adopt Puno's draft, they will proceed to a vote.

But if the debates drag on, the voting will be delayed to polish the decision.

According to one of the justices, the decision on the Charter change petition may come out Wednesday.

"Lalabas na bukas. Naka-porma na [It will come out tomorrow (Wednesday). It has been written already]," the justice said, adding that many of the justices have already made up their minds on the issue, having started doing serious research on related laws and issues since the petition was brought to the court last month.

"We all have studied the issue for a long time now. Yung iba klaro na ang position (The others have their positions clear)," the justice said, adding, however, that the issue could drag on some more if Wednesday's meeting becomes a venue for long debates.

As to the outcome of the decision, the justice said: "You will never know the outcome until the counting of votes is over." (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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