Gatchalian tells Alvarez: ‘Put an end’ to sole House efforts on Cha-cha
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has urged Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to “put an end” to the House of Representatives’ efforts to amend the Constitution without the Senate or it would end up with an “illegitimate draft” Charter.
“House Speaker Alvarez must put an end to the House’s efforts to amend the 1987 Constitution without the participation of the Senate,” Gatchalian, member of the majority bloc in the Senate, said in a statement on Wednesday.
He noted that even constitutional law experts are in “virtually unanimous agreement” that any amendments or revisions to the 1987 Constitution must be tackled in a Constituent Assembly by the two chambers of Congress — the Senate and the House— as provided for under Art. XVII of the Constitution.
“In simple terms, the House cannot amend the Constitution without the Senate’s consent, and vice versa,” Gatchalian said.
“Indeed, it would be absurd for one chamber of a bicameral legislature to be able to change the fundamental law of the land without the participation and assent of the other chamber,” he also said.
Instead of attempting to undermine and bypass the Senate, the senator said the House should work with the Senate to create an “inclusive and constitutionally sound plan to convene the chambers together in a Constituent Assembly.”
“Otherwise, if the House continues down the reckless path it has set upon, their risky experiment in constitutional alchemy will result in an illegitimate draft constitution which will surely be rejected by the people via plebiscite,” Gatchalian said.
Alvarez earlier said the House can continue with its Charter change initiative even without the participation of the Senate.
The House has already passed a concurrent resolution, constituting Congress into a Constituent assembly but senators insisted that the two chambers should tackle and vote separately on the issue. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.