SC cannot touch House-Senate voting on Cha-cha — Puno
The issue of whether Congress should vote jointly or separately on Charter change (Cha-Cha) could not be raised to the Supreme Court as it is “beyond its jurisdiction,” former Chief Justice Reynato Puno told a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
At a joint hearing in the Senate on Cha-cha, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon brought up the House of Representatives’ approval of a resolution, constituting Congress into a constituent assembly (con-ass) to propose amendments to the Constitution.
Drilon then asked Puno if the Senate could be questioned before the Supreme Court it would not act on the House resolution, which was approved Tuesday.
“That decision of the Senate cannot be brought to the Supreme Court because that is a political decision that will pose a political question, and that is beyond the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court,” the retired chief justice said.
Drilon agreed with Puno, saying the high tribunal “cannot interfere in the process of amending the Constitution because it is a political question.”
“In other words the SC cannot rule that we should vote jointly or separately. That question is left to the discretion of Congress, of the legislature. Because the process of amending the Constitution is a political process lodged in Congress itself,” the minority leader added.
While the Senate remains open to the possibility of a con-ass or Con-con (Constitutional convention), Drilon said they were “unanimous” that Congress should vote separately in a con-ass.
“Everything is open at this point that’s why we’re having hearings pero on the question of voting separately or jointly in a con-ass, ang consensus dapat separate voting,” he said.
In amending the Constitution, lawmakers could either opt for a Con-con where members of the body would be elected by the people, or legislators would convene in a con-ass to revise the Constitution. /cbb
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