Lacson, Pangilinan still skeptical of Charter change despite Arroyo proposal
Two senators remained skeptical of Charter change (Cha-cha) proposal even after Speaker Gloria Arroyo’s latest move to break the impasse on the issue.
On Tuesday, Arroyo said that agreeing to the proposal to allow the House of Representatives and the Senate to vote separately would be the only way to move forward on Cha-cha.
“Still a resounding no,” Sen. Panfilo Lacson said in text message when asked if the Senate would now consider Cha-cha after Arroyo’s statement.
“That’s her statement now, yes,” he said. “Once we have tied ourselves into adopting a joint resolution for a joint session with the HOR, there is no guarantee that conditions will not change by then.”
“When that happens, there is no wiggling out of that situation, like a poor mouse in a mousetrap. We’re dead just the same,” Lacson, who is part of the majority bloc, added.
Opposition Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan also believes that Arroyo’s statement is no guarantee that voting separately will be upheld when questioned before the Supreme Court.
“It doesnt prevent any congressman or interested party from bringing the matter to the Supreme Court to seek a ruling in favor of joint voting,” Pangilinan said in a separate statement. “Looking at the voting record of the Supreme Court in the last two years, a ruling in favor of Con-ass voting jointly is not far fetched.”
“Hence we remain skeptical and we should not let our guards down against the possibility of a House only Cha-cha as an option for those zealously pushing for Charter change,” he said.
Con-ass stands constituent assembly, a mode of changing the Constitution being proposed by the House.
The House has already approved a resolution for calling Con-ass while a similar measure remains pending in the Senate.
“The SC already rendered the Senate inutile and inconsequential in the matter of its exclusive power to remove a Chief Justice through impeachment. What will prevent the SC from doing it yet again in the constitutionally mandated process of amending the charter?” Pangilinan said. /atm
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