Senate to say no to ‘no-el’ bid in 2019 – Poe
The Senate will not approve any plans to cancel the 2019 midterm elections, Senator Grace Poe asserted on Thursday as she opposed the “no-election” scenario House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has floated.
In a television interview, Poe said any move to shortcut the proposed shift to a federal form of government would not be accepted by the public.
“The Constitution specifically states when we are going to have the elections and 2019 is certainly an election year. You can probably amend the Constitution but even if you do, you need the Senate vote,” Poe said amid the administration’s keen push for federalism.
Alvarez has floated the idea of a no-election scenario, saying that scrapping the May 2019 polls would be practical to pave the way for a smooth course for federalism.
Poe maintained that Alvarez has to deal with Senate first before any postponement of polls could happen.
“I don’t think so [Senate accepting] and the public should not accept this… Pero hindi nila talaga puwedeng gawing no election,” the senator said.
The lawmaker reminded the House leader that Congress is bicameral in nature and the House, in the lawmaking process, cannot pass a bill by itself and needs the Senate’s vote.
“Something as crucial as this, you are voting jointly? I don’t think that is the intention of the framers (of the 1987 Constitution),” she said.
“Kahit na palitan pa nila ‘yan sa House, kailangan pa rin ng approval ng Senate. At kami, reasonable naman kami ng mga kasama ko, sa tingin ko naman, we don’t want to railroad this issue. It gives a bad impression [of] our country. What are we trying to do?” she continued.
Asked if she was wary that Congress, led by administration allies in the House, will convert itself into a constituent assembly to vote on the draft Charter during the President’s State of the Nation Address, Poe had this to say:
“What message are they trying to send? Kung gagawin nila iyon, halatang-halata sa taumbayan na may ginagawa silang kalokohan. Bakit nila idadaan doon? If they really believe in their proposed Charter, why would they pull these kinds of stunts?”
“Make it go through the proper process. ‘Pag pinagdebatehan ‘yan ng both houses of Congress, kailangan pa rin dumaan sa plebisito. Sa bandang huli, ang taumbayan pa rin ang boboto: Payag ba sila diyan o hindi?” Poe added. /muf/ac
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