FILE PHOTO: Supreme Court
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is confident that the Lower House alone can comply with the constitutional requirement of three-fourths of the members of Congress shall vote in favor of the proposal to shift into the federal form of government, even without the senators.
“And then at the end of the day, we will deliver the requirement of the Constitution of 3/4 of all our members. We will count all the congressman and all senators. We will get the 3/4, and that’s it,” said Alvarez.
However, Senator Ralph Recto noted that the House of Representatives cannot do the voting on its own.
In response, Alvarez said that the vote of congressmen is more important.
“We are closer to the people and we are the ones who understand the needs of the people in our districts. So why would the vote of the other institution be more important than ours when it’s we who are the immediate representatives of the people,” said the House Speaker.
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, meanwhile, noted that the two chambers of Congress may conduct a summit to discuss the issue.
“We can call for a charter change summit involving the leaders of the House of Representatives and leaders of the Senate. They can gather in neutral ground to discuss how to move forward in the amendments of the Constitution,” said Zubiri.
Speaker Alvarez said Lower House will just leave the matter to the Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court is there to serve as an arbiter. They will interpret the Constitution,” said the House Speaker.
Despite the pronouncements of former Supreme Court justices that favor constitutional convention (ConCon), the speaker of the House stands firm that it is more practical to change the charter through a constituent assembly.
“I can assure you that the constitutional convention will only have candidates controlled by businessmen,” said Alvarez. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue
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