MANILA - Signing a resolution calling for a constituent assembly that will vote jointly with the House of Representatives in amending the constitution would be signing a “death warrant,” a senator warned Tuesday.
In a statement, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the leadership in the upper chamber, particularly Senate President Koko Pimentel, will have to assure the senators of separate voting in the event of a constituent assembly.
"SP Pimentel may not have the support of the upper chamber unless the senators are assured of separate voting. Otherwise, signing the resolution is tantamount to affixing our signatures on our own 'death warrant,'" he said in a statement.
A resolution at the lower chamber is calling for the House and Senate to convene as a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution for a federal form of government.
Lacson said the provision provided by the constitution on how Congress should convene as a constituent assembly is "quite vague" and it needs the Supreme Court's interpretation.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon earlier warned that Senate will be rendered irrelevant if Congress votes jointly, as district and party-list representatives outnumber senators 200 to 24.
A constituent assembly, however, is not the only mode of amending the Constitution. The other one is through constitutional convention, where the people will elect delegates to a convention that will draft the amendments.