PROSPERO NOGRALES, breathlessly told Pinky Webb on the ABSCBN's Dateline News at noon, that he had just attended a hearing the House Charter Change Committee headed by Rep. Jaraulla at which House Resolution No. 1230 calling for amendments to the the 1987 Constitution was apparently approved by a vote of 30 to 7. Nograles vows to bring the Resoolution to Plenary one week after the Jaraulla Committee submits its committee report. Minority stalwart ROILO GOLEZ contested the claim that the committee had thoroughly discussed the now pending CON-ASS Resolution 1230.
Here is the entire relevant Article in the 1987 Constitution, and the flawed Section 1 thereof which some still-living forefathers clearly rue. The words could have been more precise and explicit, but unfortunately they are not.
NOTA BENE: Section 1 is ambiguous on the seminal issues of "voting separately". Into that breach, or hiatus in Section 1, chacha advocates, namely JDV and FVR, would drive their unicameral parliamentary system by producing 195 or 196 votes, constituting THREE-FOURTHS of all the 259 Members of Congress (presently 236 congressmen plus 23 senators).Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by:
(1) The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members; or
(2) A constitutional convention.
Section 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter.
The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.
Section 3. The Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, call a constitutional convention, or by a majority vote of all its Members, submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention.
Section 4. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution under Section 1 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the approval of such amendment or revision.
Any amendment under Section 2 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the certification by the Commission on Elections of the sufficiency of the petition.
With the House Majority still picking its teeth after devouring the Opposition's second impeachment bid, CHACHA is off to a double barrelled start with the related question of the PEOPLE'S INITIATIVE (a matter of addressed in Section 2) already lodged in the Supreme Court after the Commission on Elections, as expected, denied the Sigaw ng Bayan petition for a plebiscite to be scheduled. Now, as Deputy Majority Leader Nograles proclaims, they will muster the 195 or 196 votes needed to fulfill Section 1.
But though the Lower House has proved the point that "having the numbers" matters in a democratic society, there are limits to "Majority rules!" for otherwise there is the possibility of "the tyranny of the Majority." We call those limits "checks and balances" -- most relevant being BICAMERALISM. There is a built in wisdom to bicameralism, learned from bitter experience by many other societies. "Parliaments" composed of local war lords and political bosses have in history sometimes turned into Mafia-like associations, respectable and lawful on the outside, but corrupt and conniving on the inside. Nations and societies would collapse under such governance, which is why an Upper House of elected representatives with national constituencies have evolved to check such unhealthy developments. Bicameralism is like having two halves of one brain.
I expect a case will be decided by the Supreme Court on Section 1 and the issue of how Congress proposes changes to the Constitution with a title like Senate vs. House of Representatives, the so-called constituent assembly route. Likewise the Supreme Court must decide a case based on Section 2 and the previous Santiago vs. Comelec ruling on the matter of the people's initiative route to charter change, entitled Sigaw ng Bayan vs. Comelec.
I guess the babies and their putative mothers are lining up at King Solomon's Court.