As earlier announced, Senator Panfilo Lacson has filed a resolution calling on the Senate to compose itself as a constituent assembly (con-ass) to propose amendments to the 1987 Constitution upon approval of three-fourths of its members.
In Senate Resolution No. 580 that he posted in his Twitter account on Monday, Lacson pointed out the three modes on how an amendment to or revision of the Constitution must be done.
The first mode could be through Congress upon a three-fourth votes of all its members, second is through a constitutional convention (con-con), and third, through the so-called “people’s initiative.”
“The framers of the fundamental law are silent on how Congress should meet in effecting this change in the Constitution,” said the measure.
In his proposal, Lacson seeks a Senate sitting as a constituent assembly separate from the House of Representatives.
He said this would prevent the Senate from becoming irrelevant should the House insist on a con-ass with both chambers to amend the 1987 Constitution.
Read more: ‘Con-ass without House’
Lacson, in the resolution, noted the opinion of constitutionalist, Father Joaquin Bernas, about the “growing acceptance” that Congress, when acting as con-ass, “need not be in joint session but may act the way it does in ordinary legislation (because the Constitution does not require a joint session).”
The measure also cited retired-justice Adolfo Azcuna’s opinion that there was no general provision, which states that Congress when tackling legislation, must meet in joint session.
“There is none. When it comes to amendment, it doesn’t say you have to meet in joint session,” the resolution quoted Azcuna as saying.
In filing the resolution, Lacson noted that the “current maelstrom generated by the differing opinions on how this amendment to or revision of the Constitution should take place and the ambivalent political positioning of those favoring one or the other mode of effecting such change has caused bitter political bickering between and among our current political leaders in both houses of Congress.”
On Wednesday, the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes chaired by Senator Francis Pangilinan is set to resume its deliberations on the proposed Charter change (Cha-cha) initiative.
Some congressmen, including Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, believe that the two chambers of Congress — the Senate and the House of Representatives — should vote jointly on Cha-cha. /cbb
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.