By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – A senator vehemently reacted to the intention of the House's chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Amendment to merge the 24 members Senate with the House of Representatives to vote for a constitutional change.
Senator Mary Grace Poe speaks to reporters after she graced the 66th induction and
turnover ceremonies of the JCI Dagupan Bangus Chapter held at the CSI Stadia in
Dagupan City. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
Senator Mary Grace Poe emphatically declared that the senators would not agree on the pronouncement of Representative Roger Mercado when he led some members of the Committee for a consultation here last February 24 if voters in Pangasinan's province either wanted Constituent Assembly or Constitutional Convention as vehicle to amend or revise the 1987 Constitution.
“Siyempre hinde! E kung simpleng pag pangalan ng mga national roads kailangan voting kami separately, tapos ang isang napakahalagang constitutional amendment e isasama kami (Of course not! Just a simple naming or renaming of national roads the two houses of Congress need to vote separately. Why should we vote as one in a very important legislation?” she stressed when asked if she agree with Mercado’s statement.
The chairman of the 35-man Committee on Constitutional Amendments was unperturbed when asked by a reporter in that consulation if somebody petition the Supreme Court for the unconstitutionality of their plan to mix as one the 24 members’ House of Senate and the 297 members House of Representatives to muster the three-fourth votes needed for the charter change's bid.
Mercado was accompanied by Congressmen Vicente Veloso, Virgilio Lacson, and Edward Maceda.
Poe cited that its time to revisit the intention of the Constitutional Commission appointed by former president Corazon Aquino when they hammered the Constituent Assembly in the 1987 Constitution.
“Meron talagang flaw iyang pagkasulat ng batas na iyon. Pero kailangan natin balikan ang intention ng mga nagsulat. Dapat hiwalay ang pag boto (There was flaw in writing that law. We need to review the intention of those who wrote it. The voting (of the two houses) should be separate),” she opined.
A Constituent Assembly (C.A), according to Wikipidia, is composed of all members of the bicameral Philippine Congress (Senate and the House). It is convened by Congress to propose amendments to the 1987 constitution. Under Article XVII of the Constitution of the Philippines, amendments pass upon a vote of three fourths of all its members, but it is not clear if Congress should vote as a single body or as separate houses.
Senator Poe was here last March 11 as guest of honor of the 66th induction and turnover ceremonies of the JCI Dagupan Bangus Chapter held at the CSI Stadia.