Lacson to Alvarez: PH Congress is bicameral
Sen. Panfilo Lacson reminded House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Saturday that the Philippine Congress is a bicameral system and a chamber could not unilaterally pass any kind of legislation, most especially the amendments in the Constitution.
“Somebody please tell the Speaker and his congressmen followers that under a bicameral system, one chamber cannot unilaterally decide for both Houses,” Lacson said in a tweet.
“Not in the passage of the budget law, as in any piece of legislation and certainly not in revising or amending the Constitution,” he added.
Somebody please tell the Speaker and his congressmen followers that under a bicameral system, one chamber cannot unilaterally decide for both houses, not in the passage of the budget law, as in any piece of legislation and certainly not in revising or amending the constitution.
— PING LACSON (@iampinglacson) January 20, 2018
Alvarez insisted on Thursday that Congress, sitting as a constituent assembly (Con-ass), would push through even without the senators to amend the 1987 Constitution in a bid to shift the country’s unitary form of government to federal system.
He said Sec. 1, Art. VII of the Charter, which says that Congress, “by a vote of three-fourths of all its members, may amend or revise the Constitution,” clearly states that both chambers should vote jointly.
He said the House of Representatives alone could meet the three-fourths vote needed to amend the Charter.
In a caucus on Wednesday, Lacson moved to expel any senator who would attend the House-led Con-ass while the rest of the senators warned of a possible boycott of the proceedings if the lower chamber insist of a joint voting on the proposed Charter change.
Legal luminaries, including former chief justices Hilario Davide Jr. and Reynato Puno, said the chambers of Congress should vote separately, and not doing so could result in an “anomalous” situation.
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