Sotto takes dig at House for presenting local bill to Senate
Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III took a subtle dig at the House of Representatives on Tuesday when the latter’s bill was presented for plenary consideration in the Senate.
As chairman of the Senate committee on local government, Senator Sonny Angara sponsored House Bill No. 1926 that seeks the creation of a barangay in Misamis Oriental.
After his short sponsorship of the bill, Sotto asked Angara this question: “Cannot the House of Representative pass this without the Senate, Mr. President?”
The question elicited laughter from some of his colleagues.
Angara answered Sotto’s question anyway: “I think only the Constitution is what they think they can pass without the Senate.”
“I’ve never heard any congressmen say this can pass legislation without the Senate. But I’ve heard a few congressmen say they think can amend the Constitution without the Senate,” he added.
“So therefore, this local bill can’t be passed without the concurrence of the Senate?” Sotto asked again.
“Absolutely, Mr. President,” Angara answered.
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who was presiding over the session, could not help but joined his colleagues.
“Any objection to the participation of the Senate?” Pimentel asked also in jest, “Hearing none, we suspend consideration of the measure.”
The Senate and the House are at loggerheads on how Congress should vote on any amendments or revisions to the 1987 Constitution. House members insisted that the two chamber should vote jointly on Charter change while senators are firm that voting should be done separately.
Amid the deadlock, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said the House can amend the Constitution even without the Senate.
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