By Robert B. Roque, Jr.
To many people, several members of the House of Representatives appear to be desperate in their attempts to amend the 1987 Constitution.
House members have been criticized time and again for proposing amendments to the Constitution without the Senate since senators have refused to join them in a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass).
However, several congressmen believe that if they finalize a draft and get a vote equivalent to three-fourths of their combined number, their proposals can be sent to the public for ratification.
Thus, they do not see a need for a Constituent Assembly and have allegedly began amending the Constitution sans the Senate.
But a lot of people think that the House cannot discuss any type of amendment without the presence of the Senate.
No one can deny the fact that Congress is divided into two – the Senate and the House of Representatives – which functions as a bicameral legislature.
And though it may not be indicated in the Constitution in plain and simple words, it is only natural to assume that they vote separately on issues. Otherwise, the stand of the Senate on any subject will only be gobbled up by the sheer number of our honorable congressmen.
Judging from the way things have turned out, many believe that the House is interpreting the Constitution in a way that will best benefit their wishes and nothing more.
Quite evident to the public eye are the vested interests behind the efforts of the current administration officials to hastily change the Constitution, particularly concerning term extension.
In the rush, the House may have forgotten that the 1987 Constitution states that the charter can be revised either by Congress sitting as a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass), or a body composed of elected or appointed delegates known as the Constitutional Convention (Con-Con).
Senate President Koko Pimentel says the House should wait for the Senate’s decision regarding the revision of the Constitution.
Also, people see no reason behind the hurry to change the Constitution other than to perpetuate the terms of office of government officials who are about to reach the end of their tenure and to wield power without any conflicting party to deal with like the Senate, which they want to abolish.
Earlier efforts of past administrations to change the Constitution have always failed. Will the people allow our congressmen to have their way at this point in time?
Let’s wait and see…
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