MANILA, January 11, 2018 — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday said he is set to file a resolution next week to constitute only the Senate in a constituent assembly (con-ass) to vote on the proposal to amend the 1987 Constitution.
“Magpa-file din ako ng (I will also file a) Senate resolution to constitute ourselves, the Senate, in a constituent assembly and wait for the lower house to do the same if they wish,” Lacson said in a press conference.
Lacson said this way, the Senate could already start to propose amendments to the Constitution that could be voted on by a three-fourths vote.
He said if amendments are approved, these would be discussed in a bicameral conference between both chambers –the Senate and the House of Representatives (HOR) — where disagreeing proposals can be reconciled.
Afterwards, the Senate and House will again take a three-fourths vote separately on amendments before they are presented to the public in a plebiscite.
Lacson said the Senate and House should vote separately because the Constitution does not indicate that voting should be done jointly.
“Papayag ba ang Senado na papasok kami sa isang joint session knowing 23 ang senador and almost 300 ang congressmen? Ano pa ang saysay ng Senado? Wala kaming boses doon, hindi magma-matter ang boto ng 23 (Will the Senate allow a joint session knowing there are 23 senators and almost 300 congressmen? What’s the purpose of the Senate? We don’t have a voice there, our votes won’t matter),” he said.
Lacson had earlier said the Supreme Court should decide if voting should be done jointly or separately.
“The Supreme Court will have to come up with an interpretation that will put to rest that issue of voting jointly or separately,” he said in a previous interview. (Azer Parrocha/PNA)