By Mario B. Casayuran.
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson yesterday formally asked the Senate, with the approval of three-fourths of its members, to compose itself into a Constituent Assembly to propose amendments to the 1987 Constitution.
Lacson filed Senate Resolution 580 that pushed aside two other modes – Constitutional Commission and People’s Initiative – of revising or amending the 31-year-old Charter.
He said that framers of the Constitution are silent on how Congress should meet in effecting the change in the Constitution.
In his resolution, Lacson sought a Senate sitting as a Con-Ass separate from the House of Representatives.
He said this would prevent the Senate from becoming irrelevant should the House insist on a Con-Ass with both the Senate and the House of Representatives to amend the Constitution.
Lacson noted the opinion of Fr. Joaquin Bernas, a noted constitutionalist, about the “growing acceptance” that Congress, when acting as a Con-Ass, “need not be in joint session but may act the way it does in ordinary legislation (because the Constitution does not require a joint session).”