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Con-ass dead?

With the Senate and the House of Representatives’ big difference in the mode of Charter change and more to the point, the House’s provisions which will definitely clash with the expected provisions from the Senate proposals — if it ever comes to that — it is safe to say that cha-cha is on its death throes in the Senate, or dead, as expressed by Senate president pro-tempore Ralph Recto on Wednesday proclaimed that cha-cha is “dead” in the Senate.
Recto made the statement during the joint hearing of the Senate committees on constitutional amendments and revision of codes, and electoral reforms and people’s participation on cha-cha proposals.
He explained: “Clearly, we cannot do it in 10 session weeks, not to mention the possibility of the Senate being an impeachment court once again, not to mention we have to pass other laws as senators, as members of Congress.”
Recto was talking more about the lack of time to change the 1987 Charter, such as time needed for enacting laws, along with time needed for an impeachment trial at the Senate.
What will probably kill the House’s con-ass move is that the senators — perhaps save for one — insist on separate voting, which separate voting will kill the con-ass, given the fact that senators are clearly unwilling to have the existing charter revised instead of amended, as well as the reluctance of many senators to embrace the federal system.
All the Senate needs to kill the con-ass is for nine senators to thumb down the proposal. The number will be enough to ensure that the two thirds vote to pass the Senate version of con-ass can’t be attained and therefore, given separate voting, with one chamber not passing its version, while the other chamber passes whatever its members voted on, what happens then?
Bring this before the High Court? The Senate can take this step even as the former justices of the Supreme Court say that the SC cannot intervene since this is a political question.
Maybe so, in the interpretation of the former justices. But it is not they who will be deciding this issue.
Yet the Supreme Court did involve itself in a political question and done to save the hide of then Chief Justice Hilario Davide who was the subject of an impeachment complaint in the House with the required number of votes attained.
The same court of Davide also violated the Constitution that Davide says is the best in the world when he participated in a coup d’etat against then democratically elected president Joseph Estrada, disregarding the evidence of the official letters Estrada wrote to the leaders of Congress that he was taking a leave of absence.
Davide instead of swearing in then vice president Gloria Arroyo, swore her in as president — and not as acting president.
Con-ass may be dead by way of separate voting. But what if one senator, for whatever reason, friendship or political, joins the House by casting his vote for the House’s version?
Will this now be considered by the House as a legitimate joint Con-Ass and a joint vote?
Sen. Panfilo Lacson had a quick answer to this problem which may surface: He will move for the expulsion of any member of the Senate who will join the House of Representatives in its Con-Ass vote to amend the 1987 Constitution.
“Nobody objected. Anyway, as of yesterday, there is no senator who has plans to join the House vote,” Lacson said.
“I was just concerned that in case of that remote possibility that there may be one in the future, he or she cannot escape a misdeed that borders on treachery to our Senate as an institution. We can use our mechanism in the ethics committee to execute my proposal,” he added.
It was Senate Minority leader Frank Drilon who spoke of a rumor that when at least one or two senators attend the con-ass at the House of Representatives, it would already be considered a joint session.
Truth is, expelling a member of the Senate who joins the House in voting, may not be that effective by way of stopping the House Con-Ass from becoming a reality, especially as the way Lacson and company will be resorting to is through the ethics committee, which will take a little more time and time is of t he essence.
By then, the senator will have voted with the House members and even with just one vote from whoever that senator may be, might make Lacson’s plan go awry.

5 comments

  • golgol

    I AM FOR DAVIDE JR FOR PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. HE HAS THE QUALIFICATION AND GUTS TO MAKE IT AND MORE THAN BEST THAN DIGONG

    golgol Saturday, 20 January 2018 09:46 Comment Link
  • peter alagano

    Mr President! Please declare RevGov to do away with this SENATONGS who only thinks of their personal interest as their priority. Form a Constitutional Commission to revise the Constitution to move forward towards Federalism to attain "Genuine Pagbabago" to fulfill your campaign promise. GOGOGO as majority of the people are behind you...

    peter alagano Thursday, 18 January 2018 11:14 Comment Link
  • Tonyboy

    According to Davide the 1987 Cory Constitution is the best constitution in the world. May I ask the former chief justice? How did you come up with this conclusion Mr. Davide? Granting the 1987 Constitution is the best constitution how come Cory's regime and her son Noynoy's regime are two of the worst administrations in terms of giving basic services to the poor people, responding to calamities, curtailing criminality, equal protection laws and dispensation of fair justice, etc.? I bet Davide is just "too yellow" to admit the failures of the two regimes mentioned.

    Tonyboy Thursday, 18 January 2018 08:26 Comment Link
  • amissah

    Hoping, one senator can stand and join House...

    If ever expelled by by a senate ethics, then Duterte can appoint him/her to cabinet post as a reward. Hope those senators who have last term will join the Con-Ass...

    amissah Thursday, 18 January 2018 07:12 Comment Link
  • quinzo

    REV-GOV na Pres.Du30 !...para sa bayan ba itong mga senators or para sa sarili???. Its so obvious Lacson is metamorphosizing now.. . .Kaalyado ng presidente, STAND UP & BE COUNTED! Dont be COWED by what Drilon & Lacson said...May hatol anyways ang bayan sa inyo sa 2019.

    quinzo Thursday, 18 January 2018 05:23 Comment Link

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