CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Poe nixes plan to merge Senate and Congress
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – Senator Grace Poe said the senators would not agree to the plan of House Committee on Constitutional Amendment to merge the 24 members of the Senate with the House of Representatives to vote for a constitutional change.JCI INDUCTION. Senator Mary Grace Poe speaks to reporters after addressing the JCI Dagupan Bangus Chapter during the group’s 66th induction and turnover ceremonies at the CSI Stadia in Dagupan City. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
She was reacting to the pronouncement of Representative Roger Mercado who led some members of the committee for a consultation here last February 24 on whether the Pangasinenses wanted Constituent Assembly or Constitutional Convention as vehicle to amend or revise the 1987 Constitution.
“Siyempre hinde! E kung simpleng pag pangalan ng mga national roads kailangan voting kami separately, tapos ang isang napakahalagang constitutional amendment e isasama kami (Of course not! Just a simple naming or renaming of national roads the two houses of Congress need to vote separately. Why should we vote as one in a very important legislation?” she said when asked if she agrees with Mercado’s statement.
Mercado was unperturbed when asked by a reporter if somebody would petition the Supreme Court on the unconstitutionality of their plan to combine the Senate and the House of Representatives to muster the three-fourth votes needed for the charter change.
Mercado was accompanied by Congressmen Vicente Veloso, Virgilio Lacson, and Edward Maceda.
Poe said it was time to revisit the intention of the Constitutional Commission appointed by former president Corazon Aquino which hammered the Constituent Assembly for the 1987 Constitution.
“Meron talagang flaw iyang pagkasulat ng batas na iyon. Pero kailangan natin balikan ang intention ng mga nagsulat. Dapat hiwalay ang pag boto (There was flaw in writing that law. We need to review the intention of those who wrote it. The voting (of the two houses) should be separate),” she opined.
A Constituent Assembly (C.A), according to Wikipidia, 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 its members, but it is not clear if Congress should vote as a single body or as separate houses.
Senator Poe was here last March 11 as guest of honor during the 66th induction and turnover ceremonies of the JCI Dagupan Bangus Chapter held at the CSI Stadia.
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