House to continue con-ass even without Senate – Alvarez

Jan. 19, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said on Thursday that the House of Representatives would continue with the Charter change (Cha-cha) proceedings even without the senators as he insisted of a joint voting of the Congress convening as a constituent assembly (Con-ass).

Alvarez made the pronouncement despite the senators’ threat to boycott the proceedings of a House-led Con-ass .

He said the Lower chamber could meet the three-fourths vote to the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

“Magmi-meeting muna kami, maghi-hearing, Welcome naman kahit na sinong senador na pupunta roon at sumama, at kung hindi naman, hindi naman natin pipilitin din (We will hold meetings, hearings… we will welcome senators who would go to the House of Representatives and join the proceedings. If they refuse, we will not force them),” Alvarez said in an interview with DZMM.

When asked by host, Ted Failon, if the Congress as Con-ass would proceed even without the senators, Alvarez said: “Opo, ang dulo kasi nito ay isa-satisfy namin kung ano yung requirement ng ating Saligang Batas, sinasabi niyan three-fourths of all its members, bibilangin na natin lahat ng miyembro, kunin natin yung three-fourths, magbobotohan tayo… para sa amin, complied yung requirement ng Saligang Batas.”

(Yes, the result of this will satisfy the requirement of our Constitution, which states that three-fourths of all its members will vote., for us, it complies with the Constitution.”)

If there would be lawmakers who disagree, Alvarez said they could always ask the Supreme Court to settle the issue.

“Ngayon, kung mayroon mang disagreement, mayroon naman tayong Korte Suprema kung saan naatasan din na magresolve ng mga ganitong hindi pagkakaintindihan (Now, if there are disagreements, we have the Supreme Court who is in-charge of settling issues like this),” he noted.

The Senate on Wednesday unanimously rejected the proposal to let the two chambers of Congress vote separately on the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson proposed to expel from the Senate any senator who would attend a House-led Con-ass.

Former Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares said the public should oppose the proposed amendments to the Charter as it would only extend term limits of incumbent government officials, cancel the elections next year, and implement several other provisions that would serve the self-serving interests of politicians. (

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