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Lambino vs. COMELEC GR 174153 (2006)
Lambino et al filed a petition with the COMELEC to hold a plebiscite that will ratify their initiative petition to change the 1987 Constitution under Section 5(b) and (c)2 and Section 73 of Republic Act No. 6735 or the Initiative and Referendum Act. They alleged that their petition had the support of 6,327,952 individuals constituting at least twelve per centum (12%) of all registered voters, with each legislative district represented by at least three per centum (3%) of its registered voters. They also claimed that COMELEC election registrars had verified the signatures of the 6.3 million individuals.The Lambino Group’s initiative petition changes the 1987 Constitution by modifying Sections 1-7 of Article VI (Legislative Department)4 and Sections 1-4 of Article VII (Executive Department) and by adding Article XVIII entitled “Transitory Provisions.” These proposed changes will shift the present Bicameral-Presidential system to a Unicameral-Parliamentary form of government.
Whether or not the Court should revisit its ruling in Santiago declaring RA 6735 “incomplete, inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions” to implement the initiative clause on proposals to amend the Constitution
The present petition warrants dismissal for failure to comply with the basic requirements of Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution on the conduct and scope of a people’s initiative to amend the Constitution. There is no need to revisit this Court’s ruling in Santiago declaring RA 6735 “incomplete, inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions” to cover the system of initiative to amend the Constitution. An affirmation or reversal of Santiago will not change the outcome of the present petition. Thus, this Court must decline to revisit Santiago which effectively ruled that RA 6735 does not comply with the requirements of the Constitution to implement the initiative clause on amendments to the Constitution.