Poe warns against ‘no-el’ scenario in 2019: Senate, public won’t let it happen
Senator Grace Poe on Thursday expressed confidence that the public as well as the Senate, as a body, will reject any move to cancel the 2019 midterm elections.
She deplored the idea being floated by House Speaker Bebot Alvarez about a no-election scenario or the scrapping of the May 2019 polls to pave the way for the speedy approval of the proposed federal constitution.
“Any move to shortcut the proposed shift to a federal form of government will not be accepted by the public,” Poe said.
“The Constitution specifically states when we are going to have the elections and 2019 is certainly an election year,” she said in a television interview.
She added, “You can probably amend the Constitution but even if you do, you need the Senate vote.”
“There’s the Senate that he has to deal with,”said Poe, amid the administration’s keen push for federalism.
She insisted that any move by the House of Representatives needs concurrence by the Senate.
She stressed that Congress is bicameral in nature and the House of Representatives (HoR), in the lawmaking process, “cannot pass a bill by itself and needs the Senate vote.”
“Something as crucial as this, you are voting jointly? I don’t think that is the intention of the framers (of the 1987 Constitution),” Poe said.
“Kahit na palitan pa nila ‘yan sa House, kailangan pa rin ng approval ng Senate. Hindi nila talaga puwedeng gawing no election,” said Poe.
She added, “At kami, reasonable naman kami ng mga kasama ko, sa tingin ko naman, we don’t want to railroad this issue.”
Asked if she was wary that administration allies in the HoR will convert itself into a constituent assembly to vote on the draft Charter during the 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte in July 23, Poe said, “What message are they trying to send?”
“Kung gagawin nila iyon, halatang-halata sa taumbayan na may ginagawa silang kalokohan. Bakit nila idadaan doon?” she said.
“If they really believe in their proposed Charter, why would they pull these kinds of stunts?” she asked.
She said pro-federalism advicates must make it go through the proper process. “Pag pinagdebatehan ‘yan ng both houses of Congress, kailangan pa rin dumaan sa plebisito.”
“Sa bandang huli, ang taumbayan pa rin ang boboto: Payag ba sila diyan o hindi?” said Poe.