Lacson to Alvarez: 1 chamber can’t decide for Congress

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Senator Panfilo Lacson has reminded House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that one chamber cannot decide for the entire Philippine Congress which is a bicameral system.

“Somebody please tell the Speaker and his congressmen followers that under a bicameral system, one chamber cannot unilaterally decide for both houses,” the senator said in a tweet on January 20.

He added that one chamber cannot pass the budget law or any piece of legislation “and certainly not in revising or amending the constitution.”

This is after Congressman Alvarez said the House of Representatives will convene as constituent assembly to revise the current Constitution even without the participation of senators.

Alvarez earlier said over DZMM radio that the current Constitution allows the Congress to propose revisions or amendments “upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members.”

“Ang dulo kasi nito ay isa-satisfy namin kung ano yung requirement ng ating Saligang Batas, sinasabi niyan three-fourths of all its members, bibilangin na natin lahat ng miyembro, kunin natin yung three-fourths, magbobotohan tayo… para sa amin, complied yung requirement ng Saligang Batas,” he said.

“Ngayon, kung mayroon mang disagreement, mayroon naman tayong Korte Suprema kung saan naatasan din na magresolve ng mga ganitong hindi pagkakaintindihan,” he added.

Article XVII Section 1 of the Constitution states “any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by: (1) The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members; or (2) A constitutional convention.”

Amendments or revisions proposed by Congress or by a constitutional convention will be submitted for plebiscite.

Article VI Section 1 of the current Constitution states that “the legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and referendum.”

Sources: http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/constitutions/1987-constitution/; https://twitter.com/iampinglacson/status/954589152351260672; http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/961531/con-ass-alvarez-house-senate-charter-change-cha-cha-constitution