By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Saturday seemingly blasted Rep. Alfredo Garbin, chairman of the House committee on constitutional amendments for his ignorance in the lawmaking process by using an old resolution to iron out charter change.
In a statement, Lacson debunked the new claim by Garbin that the tackling of the proposed amendments to 1987 Constitution by a House panel last Wednesday was in line with a Senate resolution he authored in the 17th Congress.
“Forgive Cong Garbin yet again. This time – for he knows not what he says,” Lacson said.
He said that under Senate Resolution 580, which he filed in 2018, proposed changes are to undergo the regular lawmaking process.
“This means proposed amendments to the Charter are to be tackled at the committee level first, then approved in the plenary, before both Houses convene into a constituent assembly. Nowhere in the resolution does it say na committee pa lang, Con-Ass na,” Lacson said.
On the other hand, Lacson noted Garbin is now changing his tune by saying Wednesday’s deliberations were an exercise of a constituent power rather than a constituent assembly.
“Kaya patawarin uli natin siya. Hindi naman niya alam ngayon ang sinasabi niya,” he said.
On Wednesday, Lacson questioned Garbin’s claim that his panel was already sitting as a constituent assembly, as Art. XVII, Sec. 1 of the 1987 Constitution itself decrees that any amendment to the Charter may be proposed by the Congress – meaning the Senate and the House of Representatives – or a constitutional convention.
“Last time we heard, the Congress of the Philippines is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives,” Lacson said at the time. (AI/MTVN)