Aquino on Cha-cha: ‘Congress is envisioned as two bodies’
Former President Benigno S. Aquino III backed the Senate’s position that voting on any amendments to the 1987 Constitution must be done separately by the two chambers of Congress.
The Senate and the House of Representatives were at loggerheads on the issue as senators are standing firm on separate voting while House members believe that it should be done jointly.
But Aquino pointed out that the Constitution has envisioned Congress as two legislative bodies — the Senate and the House, which should vote separately on bills such as changing the name of a street.
“Magpapalit ka ng pangalan ng kalsada, may dalawang bills yun — isa Senado at isa sa House. Pangalan lang ng isang kalsada. Ito papalitan mo yung buong Saligang Batas, biglang hindi na sila hiwalay?” the former leader told INQUIRER.net on Monday.
“In my nine years in the House, and three years sa Senado, ang alam ko may bicameral legislative body tayo. Congress is envisioned as two bodies. Voting on different bills but the same topic…,” he added.
Aquino, however, refused to comment on the alleged railroading of a measure in the House, calling for Congress to convene as a Constituent assembly to propose amendments or revisions to the 1987 Constitution.
“Alam mo, at the end of the day, basta siguraduhin lang na you’re gonna change the Constitution but it has to be subject to intense scrutiny by all citizens of the country, and hopefully, that will be provided in all of the public hearings,” he said.
The former leader, meanwhile, frowned at the reported possible extension of terms of incumbent officials once the proposed shift to federal form of government succeeds.
“Yung term extension, ewan ko lang naman kung pampaligaw ng tao, pero parang napaka-basic. Hindi ka pwedeng mag craft ng batas na magbe-benefit ka…” Aquino added. /kga
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