Solon unfazed on Constitutionality of Cha-Cha
In a bid to make Senate, House vote as one
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – The House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chair is unperturbed by questions on the plan of Congress to combine 22 members of Senate and the 297 members of the House of Representatives to muster the three-fourth votes needed for the charter change bid.CHA-CHA. House Committee on Constitutional Amendments Chair Roger Mercado reads the plaque of appreciation that the Committee gave to Dagupan City Mayor Belen T. Fernandez (2nd from left) for hosting the first leg of the consultation on changing the the 1987 Philippine Constitution. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
Representative Roger Mercado said anyone can question the Supreme Court on the plan of Congress but “whether that question will prosper or not is another story,”he told Northern Watch.
He said voting as one or voting separately as an independent body had been a nagging question since attempts to change the Constitution started several years ago.
“Kasi the constitution allows amendment and revision by the ConCon (Constitutional Convention) by the Congress meeting as Constituent Assembly and through People’s Initiative napili natin iyong ConAss (Constitutent Assembly) ang problematic provision lang dito is iyong Congress will vote as one e,”he cited.
Mercado, however, said he is amenable with the Senate and the House of Representatives voting separately if that is what other proponents want.
“We are amenable. The House is amenable that we will vote separately. Walang problema. Ang atin lang iyong sincerity natin na magkaroon tayo ng tunay na Constitution,” he said.
He said the consultation with the Filipinos all over the country that started on February 4 and will end on April 4 continues every Friday.
A member of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments who came here told Northern Watch that he was for the separate voting of the Houses of Senate and House of Representatives.
“Actually kung ako ang tatanungin mo viable iyong voting separately. Mas gusto ko iyan,” the solon who asked for anonymity said.
He added that he could not speak for Mercado’s pronouncement to juxtapose the Senate and House to start the charter change through the Constituent Assembly.
Political kibitzers were worried that in case the Senate votes separately, it would be difficult to muster the three-fourth of 18 of the 22 senators (Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Leila De Lima are presently detained by the police).
“Only few senators can be herded on this matter by President Rodrigo Duterte who wanted to fast tract this constitutional change, based on numbers of solons who voted for hearing (retired) SPO-3 Arthur Lascanas expose’ against President Duterte on the series of death perpetrated by the Davao Death Squad,” one of them said.
Senator Richared Gordon opposed vehemently the reopening of Lascanas hearing as he recalled Lascanas’ previous statements in October last year that the president had nothing to do with the DDS.
Representative Vicente Veloso, a former justice of the Court of Appeals, said C.A. is more practical because it would save P10 billion of public funds to be spent in the deliberations, debates, and amendments or revisions by its members of the fundamental law.
A Constituent Assembly, according to Wikipedia, is composed of all members of the bicameral Philippine Congress (Senate and the House). It is convened by Congress to propose amendments to the 1987 constitution. Under Article XVII of the Constitution of the Philippines, amendments pass upon a vote of three fourths of all members of Congress, but it is not clear if the Congress should vote as a single body or as separate houses.
A Constitutional Convention, Wikipedia said, is a gathering for the purpose of writing a new constitution or revising an existing constitution. Members of a constitutional convention are often elected by popular vote. The resulting constitutional frame of government is often subjected to a popular vote via referendum before it enters into force.
Entry filed under: News.