'Unconstitutional': Drilon hits plan to convene 'con-ass' without Senate

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2018 09:02 AM | Updated as of Jan 19 2018 09:29 AM

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Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon of Friday shrugged off the House's plan to convene as a constituent assembly to change the charter despite the lack of a counterpart measure from the Senate.

"Hayaan mo sila gumawa nang ganung klaseng hakbang na walang basehan at labag sa ating Saligang Batas. Walang mangyayari diyan dahil kailangan dalawa (Senado at Kamara) para mag cha-cha," Drilon said in an interview on DZMM.

"Kung ayaw namin sumali, hindi puwede magkaroon ng plebisito dahil bawal mag-appropriate ng public funds at bawal gumastos ang Comelec para sa isang plebisito na labag sa Saligang Batas," he said.

On Thursday, Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro said the House may convene as a constituent assembly on its own as the two legislative chambers remain in a deadlock over the manner of voting.

Senators have been disputing the House's decision to vote jointly as the 24-member Senate may be easily outvoted by the House with about 292 members.

"Kung hindi kami hihiwalay 'edi, hindi na bilang ang boto namin. Halos 300 ang mga kongresista, kahit sila-sila lang ang boboto, mabubuo nila yung three-fourths vote," Drilon said.

Earlier this week, Drilon urged senators to "boycott" the House's adopted Resolution of Both Houses, while Senator Ping Lacson filed his own resolution to convene the Senate in a constituent assembly.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel said some senators are considering to call for a constitutional commission as the Senate's preference for separate voting is non-negotiable.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said leaders of both chambers will meet next week to discuss contested points in the move for charter change.