By Ben R. Rosario
The House of Representatives will convene into a Constituent Assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution with or without Senate participation.
House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez said congressmen are also willing to contest their stand to determine the constitutionality of their actions before the Supreme Court.
In a radio interview after the Senate rejected House Concurrent Resolution No. 09 moving for a Con-Ass, Alvarez belittled Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson’s proposal to expel any senator who will participate in the House-initiated Con-Ass.
In another interview, the House leader said respecting constitutional duty is never a ground for expulsion of lawmaker mandated to do the job.
Alvarez aired optimism that out of the 23-member Senate, there is a strong possibility that a few of them are supportive of HCR No. 9.
Some leaders of the two legislative chambers are at odds over the constitutional provision on Charter change voting while others, especially senators, prefer Constitutional Convention as the mode of amending the 31-year-old Constitution.
Alvarez, who is leading a bid for a shift of government structure to federalism, said the House’s stand that voting during Con-Ass should be joint, stressing that congressmen are willing to bring the issue to the High Court.
“Ngayon, kung mayroon mang disagreement, mayroon naman tayong Korte Suprema kung saan naatasan din na magresolve ng mga ganitong hindi pagkakaintindihan,” he stated.
He also said: “ Basta kami nag-umpisa na kami, tuloy-tuloy lang ito. Magkakaroon ng pagdinig at iimbitahin namin yung mga iba-ibang resource persons para mag-contribute doon ng kanilang mga ideas kung papaano natin gagawin ito.”
Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Revision, said the panel is fully prepared to present its proposed amendments, saying that the Con-Ass can start convening in a few days.