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Yari tayo d’yan! Sotto says Senate will challenge Cha-cha in SC if Congress insists on joint voting with senators

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A deal breaker.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Sunday admitted that efforts to introduce amendments to the Constitution would be in peril if members of the House of Representatives will insist on the joint voting of Congress members.

“Malaki ang tsansa (revision of Constitution) kapag voting separately (ang Senate and House of Representatives) at (kung ang mode of amending it is) Con-Ass (Constituent Assembly). Malaki ang tsansa,” he said in an interview with dzBB’s Nimfa Ravelo.

“Pero pag pinilit nila yung voting jointly, tagilid na ‘yun. Pag pinilit nila ang Con-con (Constitutional Convention), tagilid na ‘yun,” Sotto said.

He was pushing for a Con-ass because amendments via a Con-con would be a tedious process, not to mention costly.He said the voting process was still the most crucial hurdle in pursuing Charter change (Cha-cha).

“Hindi naman pwede ‘yung sinasabi nila na (voting) jointly. Isang beses lang binanggit ‘yan (sa Constitution),” Sotto said, referring to the provision on Congress voting jointly on the revocation or suspension of any martial law declaration.

“Ewan ko bakit ipinipilit pa rin ‘yung (voting) jointly. Gusto ng iba ma-outvote ang Senate palagi eh hindi nga ganun ang sinasabi ng framers ng Constitution,” Sotto said.

While the particular issue is “silent” in the provisions of the 1987 Constitution, the majority leader said that in many occasions, it has been expressed that voting of the two Houses should be carried out separately.

“Pero kung mapilit ‘yung iba, dalhin nyo sa Korte Suprema,” he said.