Statement on Congress voting on Cha-Cha separately

I respect the opinions and role of my colleagues from the House of Representatives but I believe that they are mistaken in their interpretation of the Constitution.

The power to propose amendments to the Constitution was given not to a unicameral body, but to a bicameral body – which is what we have today —  composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The word “Congress” in this provision refers to the entire legislative branch, not just the House of Representatives. Article XVII, Section 1 of the Constitution, clearly states that “any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by: (1) The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members; or (2) A constitutional convention.”

It is reasonable to assert that any proposed amendment or revision to the Constitution should be voted on separately by both Houses of Congress. This viewpoint is shared by former Senate Presidents Franklin Drilon and Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., whom I hold in high esteem. Additionally, even former justices of the Supreme Court have expressed that the voting process should be conducted separately and not jointly. 

Kung yung ultimo mga local bills, pagpapalit ng pangalan ng mga kalsada ay dumadaan sa Senado para pagbotohan at aprubahan, ano pa kaya itong pag-aamyenda ng Saligang Batas?

Ignoring the Senate’s role and voice in the amendment process would violate the principle of bicameralism and the separation of powers. It would also undermine the legitimacy and credibility of the proposed changes, as they would not reflect the will of the entire Filipino people, but only a fraction of their representatives. 

I hope my colleagues will engage in a constructive and respectful dialogue and respect the Senate’s constitutional mandate and prerogative instead of dismissing them.