Congress has to iron out voting issue before con-ass talk

By Azer Parrocha

January 9, 2018, 5:31 pm

MANILA -- Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said that the Congress would first have to settle the issue on whether to vote jointly or separately before talks of a constitutional assembly (con-ass) mode to amend the 1987 Constitution should take place.

“We will have to iron out and settle the issue of how we will vote in a joint session first before we even talk of con-ass as a mode of charter revision,” Lacson said in a statement.

He pointed out that the Supreme Court (SC) should come up with an interpretation to decide how the voting should be done.

“Since the provision in the 1987 Constitution in that regard is quite vague, necessarily, the SC will have to come up with an interpretation that will put to rest that issue of voting jointly or separately,” he added.

Lacson earlier said that he preferred a constitutional convention (con-con) over con-ass as the former allowed delegates to be elected per region while the latter involved the Congress proposing amendments to the Constitution.

He made this remark after Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said that he would be filing this week a resolution calling for the Senate and the House of Representatives to convene into a con-ass to revise the Constitution and study the proposed shift to a federal form of government.

Lacson, however, said that Pimentel might not have the Senate support unless senators are assured of separate voting.

“Signing the resolution is tantamount to affixing our signatures on our own ‘death warrant,’” Lacson said following speculations that the shift to a federal form of government could abolish the Senate.

The senator also said that he was not inclined to sign Pimentel’s resolution. (PNA)