House sitting as con-ass? Forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing, says Lacson
MANILA, Philippines — “Patawarin natin sila. Hindi nila alam ang ginagawa nila.”
So said Senator Panfilo Lacson, reacting to some congressmen’s claim that the House of Representatives committee on constitutional amendments, which has opened Charter change (Cha-cha) debates, is now considered a constituent assembly (con-ass).
Lacson, in a statement on Wednesday, pointed to a provision that clearly states that any amendments to the 1987 Constitution may be proposed by “The Congress.”
“Last time we heard, the Congress of the Philippines is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives,” he said
Earlier in the hearing of the House constitution committee, its chairman, Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr., explained that the committee is already sitting as a con-ass since it is dealing with proposed amendments to the Constitution.
“When we deal with or propose amendments to the Constitution, we are sitting as a con-ass. Hindi tayo kailangan magbagong-anyo na kung saan iba ‘yung suot natin o magsama-sama tayo,” Garbin said.
“Every time we deal with proposing amendments to the Constitution or revising the Constitution, we are sitting as a con-ass exercising our constituent power,” he added.
Vice panel chair and Iloilo 3rd Dist. Rep. Lorenz Defensor agreed with Garbin.
“The provisions of the Constitution are silent and once we convene to discuss this House Resolution in amending our Constitution, we are already acting as a con-ass exercising our constituent power,” Defensor said in the same hearing.