Press Release
November 5, 2006


"As Majority Leader, we are duty-bound to address the petition for Constitutional Assembly should it reach the Senate. We will, as always, be mindful of the rule of law and we will ensure that everything remains in the confines of the Constitution."

"Article XVII, paragraph 1 of the Constitution provides that amendments or revision may be proposed by Congress upon a vote of of all its members, or a Constitutional Convention. Par.3 says Congress may, by a vote of 2/3 of all its members, call for a Constitutional Convention or by a majority vote of all its members, and submit to the electorate the calling of such a convention. The Constitution is silent as to whether the Senate and Congress should vote separately. However, we maintain, as both Fr. Joaquin Bernas and Atty. Eduardo Nachura agree, that voting should be separate. Since there is no mention of a joint session in the Constitution, each House may separately formulate amendments by a vote of of all members then pass it on to the other House for a similar process. Disagreements can then be settled through a conference committee. This is the process we have been following even for the simplest of legislation, and we especially need to remain faithful to this process now that we are dealing with no less than the fundamental law of the land."

"The Senate is set to discuss pressing bills, such as the budget, when it resumes on Monday, November 6. With the recent decision of the Supreme Court on the People's Initiative, Con-Ass is not really a priority in the Senate. Frankly speaking, this matter needs a lot of time for discussion, and we would rather leave it for the next Congress so as not to compromise the Constitution.

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