Senator Ping Lacson said lawmakers from the House of Representatives “should not allow themselves to look pathetic and worse, ridiculous.” This is after House of Representative Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez maintained that they will be moving on with charter change through constituent assembly without the Senate.
“They should read the 1987 Constitution in its entirety, or at the very least, Art XVII, Sec. 1 (Amendments or Revisions) in relation to Art VI Sec. 1 (Legislative Department) that explicitly refers to “the Congress” as the Senate and the House of Representatives,” Senator Lacson said.
Lacson said that “interpreting “the Congress” under Art XVII to refer to one chamber only is at best, self-serving.”
“They pride themselves as lawyers in good standing but it only takes a layman who knows how to read and understand simple words and literature in order to appreciate what is right and wrong,” he added.
“They can propose amendments or revision all they want but at the end of the day, a plebiscite would necessitate an item in the General Appropriations Act to be appropriated for the Commission on Elections to conduct such plebiscite,” he said.
As for Senate Minority Leader Senator Franklin M. Drilon, “the House of Representatives cannot dance “cha-cha” without the Senate.”
“The Constitution is crystal clear with regard to the composition of Congress. Under Article VI, Section 1, ‘Congress of the Philippines’ shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives,” Drilon said.
“Thus, the House of Representatives alone cannot constitute themselves as a constituent assembly and by its own three fourths vote, cannot amend the Constitution. They cannot do it without the other house which is the Senate,” he added.
Sources: https://pinglacson.net/2018/01/23/on-the-house-pushing-through-with-amending-the-constitution-without-the-senate/; http://senate.gov.ph/press_release/2018/0123_drilon1.asp