Friday, December 8, 2006

The Lemmings of Unilateralism Have the Numbers

But no way the Lower House can convene The Congress for anything without the Senate!

House Speaker Jose de Venecia was listening intently to the sponsorship speech of Rep. Luis Villafuerte on House Resolution 1450 was preceded by a nice little skirmish between Reps. Rolex Suplico and Edcel Lagman (something about Rules and Rockets, Rackets and Brackets)...

Rep. Constantino Jaraula also put in a second, more cerebral sponsorship of HR1450 to formally launch the second assault on the Bicameral Presidential system by the Unilateralists...

Rep Teddy Boy Locsin was not as coy as his colleagues about saying exactly what they were doing -- "going it alone." But he as a declared Unilateralist, he was at least being cautious and cautionary in his position within the Majority bloc that all exercises of their Constituent Power better be done using a Three Fourths Majority Rule, even to pass the subject House Resolution to convene the Congress into a Constituent Assembly.

But can a mere House Resolution, whose title page proclaims it to be an ACT of the Lower House of the Congress, convene The Congress itself to some kind of assembly at which some unknown Agenda is to be tackled? Who is bound by such an ACT which is not a law in any sense, but a mere House Resolution? Even if passed UNANIMOUSLY, what can such an act of the Lower House actually command, compel or accomplish?

I suppose Teddy Boy's use of the word unilateralism is a forthright expression of the excision of Section 105 of the Rules of the House, which embodies the bicameralism under which the House cannot but operate when exercising its Legislative power. Yet the question for the Unilateralist Theory of the Constituent Power may be this. Does the House of Representatives wield Constituent Power and may therefore ACT to exercise such power? Can a House Resolution embody a valid exercise of the constituent power? If the Constituent Power resides in each Member of the Congress, as the three-fourths majority logic of Lagman-Locsin demands, then it does not reside in the Lower House of the Congress.

What can the Members of the Congress who are also House Members do to exercise their constituent power? Well they can call a meeting among themselves and call it whatever they want to, but such a meeting cannot possibly claim to be ACTING as The Congress, because the very Title Page of the piece of paper they are launching this historic assault on the Constitution on, proclaims it to be a mere Resolution of the LOWER HOUSE.

Sorry for Teddy Boy, but even if they approved HR1450 by a unanimous vote, it would still amount to nothing more and nothing less than a mere resolution of the Lower House.

I recorded several of the Interpellations following the Sponsorship speeches for readers of Philippine Commentary and the edification and entertainment of the vast audience of the future...

Rep. Mayong Aguja, Akbayan Party List

Rep. Noynoy Aquino, son of Ninoy Aquino

House Minority Floor Leader Francis Chiz Esudero

Rep. Rolex Suplico and Edcel Lagman

Senate President Frank Drilon
told Ricky Carandang that the interpellation of Rep. Ronnie Zamora contained particularly important questions and revealing answers...


dianeuy said...

A lemming?
n. Any of various small, thickset rodents, especially of the genus Lemmus, inhabiting northern regions and known for periodic mass migrations that sometimes end in drowning.

so now we know how these congressmen are going to end up...

Rizalist said...

Hehe, well Teddy Boy Locsin did say they had entered into "uncharted waters"!

Jego said...

I hope the SC takes a page out of Miriam Santiago's book when it pens its decision. I hope they throw all pretense to propriety and, like Miriam, say what they truly feel about this act of the lower house: "We are furious, irate, and ballistic at the gall. We are nauseated by the chutzpah. We spit in the face of whoever thought of this lame-brained idea, and the mental midgets that suported it." :-D