Alvarez: Con-ass to push through even without senators
Even without the senators, Congress as a constituent assembly (Con-ass) will continue to hold proceedings to change the Charter, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Thursday.
Alvarez made the statement after the Senate’s threat of boycotting the proceedings if the lower chamber insists on a joint voting on the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution in a bid to change the country’s unitary form of government to federal.
“Mag-aano muna tayo… magmi-meeting muna kami, maghi-hearing, ngayon kung… welcome naman kahit na sinong senador na pupunta roon at sumama, at kung hindi naman, hindi naman natin pipilitin din,” Alvarez said in an interview with DZMM radio.
(We will hold meetings, hearings… we will welcome senators who would go to the House of Representatives and join. And if not, we will not force them.)
When asked if the Congress as Con-ass would proceed even without the senators, Alvarez said: “Opo, ang dulo kasi nito ay isa-satisfy namin kung ano yung requirement ng ating Saligang Batas, sinasabi niyan three-fourths of all its members, bibilangin na natin lahat ng miyembro, kunin natin yung three-fourths, magbobotohan tayo… para sa amin, complied yung requirement ng Saligang Batas.”
(Yes, the end of this will satisfy the requirement of our Constitution, which states that three-fourths of all its members, we will count all the members and the three-fourths of it, we will vote… for us, it has complied with the Constitution.)
While he respected the senators’ view that the separate chambers of Congress should vote separately when voting for the amendments on the Charter, Alvarez insisted that under Sec. 1, Art. VII of the Constitution clearly states that the Congress, “by a vote of three-fourths of all its members, may amend or revise the Constitution.”
“Ngayon, kung mayroon mang disagreement, mayroon naman tayong Korte Suprema kung saan naatasan din na magresolve ng mga ganitong hindi pagkakaintindihan,” he noted.
(Now, if there’s disagreement, we have the Supreme Court who is in charge of resolving disputes like this.)
Senators on Wednesday unanimously agreed to reject a House of Representatives-led Con-ass and Sen. Panfilo Lacson moved to expel any senator who would attend the proceedings. /je
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