Rep. Roman to Senate: 'Only you can defend the Constitution?'

Rep. Roman to Senate: ‘Only you can defend the Constitution?’

/ 06:09 PM February 06, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman has asked why members of the Senate seem to think that they have a monopoly of loving the country and defending the Constitution, as senators supposedly launched unfounded and intense accusations against House lawmakers.

In a briefing on Tuesday, Roman gave this view after being asked about senators feeling that House Resolution (HR) No. 1562 is an affront to the Senate.

The House on Monday adopted HR No. 1562, a resolution that seeks to defend Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez from the Senate’s ‘intense assault’ regarding constitutional amendment talks.


“I’m sorry, I didn’t know we were not allowed to feel that way?  Sa totoo lang, this rift should not have existed in the first place had we exercised some form or some minimum amount of empathy.  When in the history of Congress did one of the chambers organize an inquiry where the leader of the chamber was targeted? Empathy,” Roman said.


“Then you would add insinuations that we engage in illicit and illegal activity.  Why is that so? Are you the only ones correct, and are we all wrong?  Are you the only ones who love the country?  Only you can defend the Constitution and we make a mockery of it?  Self-righteous much?  No,” she added.

READ: An ‘affront to Senate:’ Senators react to House resolution

Roman believes some of the senators would have acted the same way if House lawmakers made scathing remarks against Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri while dragging him into a congressional inquiry.

However, she believes the House will not do this as it would take the “higher moral ground.”

“Why don’t we reverse the situation? What if we organize a congressional inquiry and drag SP Migz Zubiri with it?  But of course, we take the higher moral ground, and we will never do that. That’s unthinkable,” Roman said.

Pending bills in the Senate


Roman also revealed that during their all-majority members’ caucus last January 31, many House lawmakers questioned the way some senators acted because there have been a lot of bills — including local-related bills — that are pending with the Senate.

According to Speaker Romualdez, last December 2023, the House filed over 11,000 bills and resolutions — of which 34 have been enacted into law.  There are also 663 House Bills approved by the House and are awaiting Senate action.

“During our all-members caucus, there were many frustrations from our members. Do you know the feeling of working hard, crafting a legislative measure, a proposed bill, you do your research, you take the time to craft and draft the bill.  And then you go through the deliberations, hear everything with a sense of urgency, because we work directly with our constituents,” Roman noted.

“You know the frustration that you already know what the solution is, and yet, of course, we respect the process. But knowing that, there’s an urgency, we work the whole time and we take it seriously.  You cannot sit on a bill and let it languish just because. Just because,” she added.

She also added that some of the senators had been their friends and sought their help during the election season, only for them to be attacked.

“And we try to ask ourselves why these things happen.  How many of our bills were transferred to the Senate but were not acted upon.  We ask questions,” Roman asked.

“We are frustrated with such bills.  We lawmakers are only human.  We look back at the times when we took part in your respective campaigns, where we exerted effort to organize your political rallies, you got along with us, we celebrated your victories,” she added.

Economic Cha-cha

Discussions about amending the 1987 Constitution’s economic provisions through Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6 have been intense, with the House leaders calling on their counterparts from the Senate to stick to their original timeline.

They were referring to Zubiri’s initial declaration that the Senate will finalize RBH No. 6 before Congress goes on a break for the Holy Week.  But on Monday, Zubiri said that the Senate will not be pressured by deadlines, while Senator Sonny Angara said discussions on RBH No. 6 may last up to October 2024, with the plebiscite possibly alongside the 2025 midterm polls.

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Majority Floor Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe feared that such a schedule might lead to confusion as people would have to keep in mind who their preferred candidates are for the local and national polls while deciding to support or oppose constitutional amendments.

TAGS: 1987 Constitution, Cha-cha, Geraldine Roman, House, Senate

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