Senators’ consensus: Congress should vote separately on Cha-cha
Senators have reached a “clear consensus” that voting on any amendments or revisions to the 1987 Constitution should be done separately by Congress, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said on Wednesday.
“Ang clear na consensus kahapon sa informal caucus—all senators believe that voting should be separately. Yun lang very, very clear po yun,” Pimentel told reporters.
“Voting separately, three-fourths vote ang absolute majority,” he said.
Pimentel’s remark came just a day after the Senate and the House of Representatives adopted a resolution, calling for Congress — the Senate and the House of Representatives — to constitute into a Constituent Assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution.
Pimentel said they would wait for the House to transmit to the Senate the adopted resolution.
But the senators, he said, were not also inclined to support even the idea of a joint session but voting separately.
“Ah no kasi physically when you’re in a joint session physically, the automatic thinking is that it will also voting jointly,” he said.
“Since voting separately ang aming interpretation, I think we can proceed separately. And then we have the bicameral conference committee mechanism to harmonize whatever versions…”
Like a regular measure, any proposal to amend the Charter should be approved by a three-fourths vote of the Senate and the House separately.
Senator Panfilo Lacson has already filed a resolution, constituting the Senate into a Con-ass, proposing amendments and voting on them separate from the House.
Pimentel said the entire Senate agreed with Lacson’s resolution.
“Ganun naman na ang thinking ng buong Senado, voting separately. So we can’t be physically joined together kasi it goes against the final act of voting separately. Mahirap. It’s too difficult to reconcile na you’re together in one place, and yet at the very end, you will vote separately,” the Senate leader stressed.
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