House adopts resolution convening Congress as constituent assembly | Inquirer News
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House adopts resolution convening Congress as constituent assembly

/ 06:38 PM January 16, 2018

Update

The House of Representatives has adopted a resolution convening Congress into a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution, enabling the country to shift to a federal form of government.

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Voting by viva voce with 186 members present during Tuesday’s session, majority of the lawmakers approved the adoption of House Concurrent Resolution no. 9, which seeks to convene Congress into a constituent assembly (Con-ass) to amend the constitution.

The voting happened after Deputy Majority Leader Juan Pablo Bondoc moved for the termination of the interpellation and debate despite objection from Makabayan lawmakers.

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“Malinaw na may martial law sa Kongreso,” Anakpawis partylist Rep. Ariel Casilao said in press briefing moments after the session was adjourned.

In Casilao’s interpellation with Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, House committee on constitutional amendments, Casilao hit the supermajority’s plan to “expeditiously approve” the proposed Charter. It was, however, cut short after majority lawmakers voted to end the period of interpellation.

Casilao was asking Mercado to present clearly the timeline on the constitutional amendments, as he raised concerned over Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s earlier statement that the plebiscite might be held as early as May 2018.

“Malinaw ang sagot ng Kongreso that they will fast-track this at sasagasaan ang anumang procedural requirements,” he said.

Earlier, Mercado said he does not see any problem if it would only take lawmakers one month to study all items under the Constitution and submit it for plebiscite.

“Why not? Basta maganda ang pagkagawa,” he said. Casilao added that Mercado “blatantly said that the sooner the better,” which he described as “very dangerous.”

“If there’s a will, there’s a way,” said Mercado.

Casilao replied: “I fully agree that if there’s a will, there’s a way pero sana naman ‘yong will to find a way the soonest possible time ay hindi masasakripisyo ang batayan at napakahalagang laman dahil kinikilala ang Constitution bilang napakaimportantng dokumento. Iluluwal dyan ang pang araw-araw na mga batas, hindi lang sa usapang personal, sa porma ng gobyerno, sa ekonomiya, kundi sa kabuuan.” /atm

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TAGS: 17th Congress, Charter change, Con-Ass, constituent assembly, federalism, House of Representatives
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