By HANNAH TORREGOZA
Senator Panfilo Lacson revealed that the Senate is ready to expel any of their members who will participate in the House of Representatives’ constituent assembly (ConAss) to amend the 1987 Constitution.
In a text message, Lacson disclosed that it was he who made the suggestion that they all close ranks as one body and not agree to a joint session.
“I was just concerned that in case of that remote possibility na meron (may balak) in the future, he or she cannot escape a misdeed that borders on treachery to our Senate as an institution,” said Lacson.
Lacson said the Senate is not inclined to act on Congress’ Resolution No. 9 where both the Senate and the House of Representatives will constitute itself as a constituent assembly.
“..We will close ranks…We’ll not act on it. And we’ll just deliberate among ourselves kung Constitutional Convention (Concon) ba ang mode or we will adopt the resolution that we filed last Monday, na we’ll constitute ourselves, the Senate, as a Constituent Assembly Con-ass,” he said.
Lacson said senators, including Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, was also amenable to execute his proposal through the Senate ethics committee, which is chaired by Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III.
“We’ll constitute it into a committee of the whole to try the erring member. Some suggested na i-censure. Sabi ko censure is the lightest of all punishments. And treachery parang kumbaga, although hindi applicable ang offense na yan, parang treason kasi you turn your back on your own colleagues, you turn your back on your own institution,” Lacson pointed out.
Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon said he supports Lacson’s call for unanimity and his plan to expel any member of the Senate who would attend charter change sessions at the House.
“There was no disagreement but what is significant is that how serious the senators feel about our power to vote separately, so that any indication that any member of the senate will defy that kind of unanimous opinion can be subjected to sanctions,” Drilon told reporters in an interview.
Senator Nancy Binay, likewise, said she supports Lacson’s proposal saying it is high-time the Senate makes a position.
“I’m supportive of that position. Ilang beses na rin tinitira ang Senado. So I think its high-time that we make a position,” she said.
Lacson said he filed the resolution, Senate Resolution No. 580, along with some other senators, to provide the Senate a fallback.
“If we adopt this resolution and proceed with proposing amendments via a Senate constituent assembly, then somebody could raise the issue before the Supreme Court,” added Lacson.